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Bus conductor Harikesh Vishwakarma – whom Lareb Hashmi tried to behead for ‘blasphemy’ – hails from a poor family, colleagues paying hospital bills, Hashmi arrested

Lareb Hashmi tried to escape by shooting the police while going to recover the attack weapon, but he was shot in legs in retaliation and nabbed again

On Friday (25th November) morning, Lareb Hashmi, a B.Tech student, attacked a 24-year-old bus conductor Harikesh Vishwakarma with a cleaver after accusing the latter of committing ‘blasphemy’. The incident took place in the Praygraj city of Uttar Pradesh.

Speaking to OpIndia, the victim’s father said that he belongs to a poor family. The expenses of the treatment are being borne by the employees of the Uttar Pradesh Transport Department. Harikesh’s father Ram Shiromani Vishwakarma lodged an FIR against Lareb Hashmi. In this FIR, Ram Shiromani has said that Lareb Hashmi attacked his son over a bus fare dispute.

Harikesh sustained injuries on his neck and hands in the attack. Other passengers in the bus had fled during the attack. Passenger Nandan Yadav admitted Harikesh to the hospital. In an interaction with OpIndia, Ram Shiromani Vishwakarma said that his son’s condition is improving and now Harikesh has been able to speak.

Harikesh Vishwakarma got the job 2 years ago, he was married last year

Harikesh’s father said that he is from a very poor family. 24-year-old Harikesh has studied up to the intermediate level (12th standard). Apart from this, he also took an ITI degree. Two years ago, with the introduction of electric bus service in Prayagraj, he got a job as a conductor.

Harikesh got married approximately a year ago. Ram Shiromani, his father, shared with OpIndia that their family relied significantly on Harikesh’s income. During the talk, emotions overwhelmed Ram Shiromani, and tears welled up as he spoke about his son.

Roadways department employees bear the cost of treatment of Harikesh Vishwakarma

Harikesh Vishwakarma is originally a resident of Semri village which comes under the Sarai Mamrej police station of Prayagraj district. Harikesh’s father told OpIndia that he is undergoing treatment at Swarooprani Hospital Prayagraj. The cost of treatment is being borne by colleagues working in his department.

When asked about the reason behind this attack, Ram Shiromani Vishwakarma said that he did not know what was the reason for such brutality shown by Lareb Hashmi against his son. Police have taken action against Lareb Hashmi under IPC section 307 (attempt to murder) based on the complaint of Harikesh’s father.

After hacking Harikesh, Lareb Hashmi shot at SHO

Two separate FIRs have been registered against Lareb Hashmi in the industrial area police station of Prayagraj. The first FIR was lodged by Harikesh’s father. The second case has been registered by Subhash Kumar Singh, station house officer of the industrial area police station.

In this FIR, SHO Subhash Kumar Singh stated that he arrested the accused Lareb Hashmi around 5 p.m., about 100 meters away from the gate of United College. When asked about the cleaver used in the attack, Hashmi said he was hiding in a bush near Chandy Port.

The police team took Lareb to the spot to recover the cleaver. At around 7:07 p.m., Lareb asked the police to stop the vehicle. When the car stopped, Hashmi got out of the vehicle and started walking towards one place, saying that the cleaver was kept there. After going 50-60 steps ahead, he freed his hand from the police and started running away.

When the police chased Hashmi, he took advantage of the darkness and went behind a bush. From there, he took out a weapon and fired at the police. The bullet passed by the police station house officer’s ear. Fortunately, he did not get hurt.

In this attack, SOG (Special Operations Group) in-charge Sub-Inspector Ranjit Singh also narrowly survived. According to the police, the bullet was fired by Hashmi from a 32-bore pistol kept hidden by him. In self-defence, the police retaliated in which Hashmi was shot in the leg and fell down. After Hashmi received a bullet shot, the police nabbed him and recovered the cleaver which he kept nearby.

The police have registered a case against Lareb Hashmi under Section 307 of the IPC as well as Section 3/25/27 of the Arms Act 1959. Lareb Hashmi is undergoing treatment at the hospital. A copy of the FIR is with OpIndia.

Lareb Hashmi is suspended from the college

On 25th November (Saturday), the United College of Engineering and Research suspended Lareb Hashmi. Regarding the disciplinary action against the murder accused Hashmi, the College principal (Dean) HP Shukla said that Hashmi was a quiet student who often sat alone. According to the Dean, Hashmi often did not respond to questions and never engaged in conversations with others. However, the college faculty never thought such an incident would occur.

Meanwhile, the university students staged a protest following the criminal incident and demanded strict action against Hashmi. The students stressed that their parents were concerned for their safety and were not allowing them to attend college following the brutal incident involving one of their students. 

They also alleged that the college authorities were responsible for the incident. Several Hindu outfits also staged a demonstration at the college demanding that strict action should be initiated against students with extremist ideologies.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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