A bus conductor in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, was stabbed in the throat by a B.Tech student who accused him of insulting Islam. The student, Laareb Hashmi, recorded the attack and uploaded it on social media, claiming that he was defending the dignity of his faith.
The incident took place on Friday morning, when Hashmi boarded a bus from the Civil Lines area and got into an argument with the conductor, Rajesh Kumar, over the fare. Hashmi accused Kumar of making derogatory remarks about Islam and Prophet Muhammad and attacked him with a cleaver. He then fled from the spot, leaving Kumar bleeding profusely.
Hashmi ran into a college campus to hide, where he made a video and posted it online. In the video, he confessed to the crime and said that he was avenging the honour of his religion. He also took the names of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in the video. He was seen holding the cleaver that he used to slash the conductor.
Another video, taken from inside the bus, showed Hashmi running outside with the cleaver in his hand.
The Prayagraj police traced Hashmi’s location from his mobile phone and nabbed him inside the campus premises. As the police attempted to recover the weapon, he allegedly fired at them. The police responded by shooting at him in the leg. Hashmi got injured and was taken to a hospital, where he is undergoing treatment. The police recovered the knife and the mobile phone which Hashmi used to record video after the incident.
Hashmi has also been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including attempt to murder and promoting enmity between different groups.
Later, recounting the incident, bus driver, Mangla Yadav, said that he heard a noise and stopped the bus immediately. Harikesh Vishwakarma, the bus conductor, who sustained a deep cut on his neck, was rushed to the Swaroop Rani Nehru Hospital, where he is said to be out of danger now. He told the police that he did not say anything offensive to Hashmi and that he was attacked without any provocation.
The video, which Hashmi recorded after the attack, went viral on social media and drew condemnation from various quarters.
Abhinav Tyagi, the Deputy Commissioner of Police of Prayagraj’s Yamunanagar area, said that Hashmi is a first-year student at the United Engineering College and lives in the Hajiganj area of Prayagraj. His father, Mohammed Yunus, runs a poultry farm in the city.
“Police will investigate Hashmi’s background and links to any extremist groups, ” said Tyagi.