Man assaulted for adopting Muslim girl in Hyderabad

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A temple painter was stabbed 16 times by a group of youth in Hyderabad for adopting a Muslim girl who lost her parents in the 2007 Hyderabad blasts. (PTI file photo)

A temple painter was stabbed 16 times by a group of youth in Hyderabad for adopting a Muslim girl who lost her parents in the 2007 Hyderabad blasts.

But Papalal Ravikanth has, miraculously, survived and is recovering at the surgical ward of the Osmania Hospital.

On August 25, 2007, Ravikanth brought home a Muslim girl who was abandoned near Gokul Chat centre in Kothi area which was hit by an explosion that claimed many lives.

The little girl, Sania Fatima, had lost her parents in the blast. Ravikanth brought Sania against the wishes of both Muslims and Hindus of the communally divided old city area.

A Rajput by birth, Ravikanth fought for Sania, whom he renamed as Anjali, in a Hindu dominated locality. Soon after Sania's arrival, Ravikanth's wife Jayasri gave birth to three children - Ekta, Umanand and Prarthana.

But on June 1, a gang of Hindus, mostly from the same street where Ravikanth lives, came to his house and stabbed him sixteen times, leaving him in a pool of blood.

Ravikanth's wife and children, who were away to fetch drinking water, rushed him to Osmania General Hospital.

“The local Hindu boys were harassing Sania and teasing her as she is now grown up and studying in Class IX. My husband warned them many times and they had a grudge against him for raising a Muslim girl against the will of the community,” Jayasri said.

The attackers thought Ravikanth was dead and celebrated, but he survived.

“I woke up after three days. Five of the attackers were arrested but only two were taken into custody. The police took bribes from the attackers and diluted the case,” said Ravikanth.

Sania told DH: “My father protects me all the time. But the school where we are studying shunted us out saying that we are a nuisance as boys always tease me."

Sania has shown great confidence and maturity beyond her age while dealing with issues related to the hospital. She evens brings food to Ravikanth daily.

The gritty young girl further said: “I want to become a police officer and fight corruption. We want justice and nothing else. Those who tried to murder my father are roaming freely in our street, but I am determined to fight for my father."

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Man assaulted for adopting Muslim girl in Hyderabad

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