In yet another case of self-radicalisation triggering lone wolf attacks, a young man stabbed a bus driver over a petty spat, later owning up to the attack in a self-recorded video statement.
In the video, the man can be seen chanting “Labaik Ya Rasool Allah”, which translates to, “Here I am, O Messenger of Allah.”
The victim, 24-year-old Harikesh Vishwakarma, fortunately survived the stabbing and is recuperating in a hospital.
The attacker, 20-year-old Lareb Hashmi, is in police custody after suffering a bullet wound in the leg following an encounter with the police.
What Happened On 24 November
The shocking incident has come to light from Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj (formerly Allahabad) district.
Swarajya accessed the first information report (FIR) filed against Hashmi on the statement of Harikesh’s father Ram Shiromani Vishwakarma, a resident of Sarai Mamarej area of Prayagraj city.
The statement says that around 9am on 24 November, when Harikesh, a bus driver, was going from New Shantipuram area to the Raymond turn, a commuter stabbed at his neck. A fellow commuter, named Nandan Yadav, helped Harikesh reach the hospital. Later, the family learnt that the attacker’s name is Lareb Hashmi.
The FIR was filed the same day and Hashmi was booked under IPC section 307 (attempt to murder).
Video Released By The Attacker And His Arrest
A video was recorded and circulated by Hashmi soon after committing the crime.
In the video, Hashmi, clad in a while kurta and turban, and sporting moustache and a small beard, is seen saying that the man he stabbed was insulting Muslims and, by the grace of Allah, he stabbed him.
“God willing, he won’t survive. This servant of Islam [referring to himself] is warning everyone from India to France that Muslims will live and die for the honour of their Huzoor. Nobody should live under the delusion that Yogi or Modi is holding the power because our hearts our ruled only by Mustafa…” he says (translated from Urdu).
The attacker then abuses the victim as being son of a prostitute, and hails Khadim Hussain Rizvi, a notorious Pakistani cleric credited with inciting passions over blasphemy of Islam, for his teachings on how to deal with blasphemers.
Hashmi then pulls out the cleaver from his pocket and shows to the camera, saying it is the same weapon he had used for stabbing the bus driver and he was willing to kill all blasphemers.
As per news reports, Hashmi is a first-year engineering student at United College of Engineering and Research in Prayagraj and lives in Hajiganj Soraon.
A day after the incident, the police told the media that when they went to the college to arrest Hashmi, he fired at them and sustained a bullet in his leg in the ensuing struggle.
Watch the video of an injured Hashmi here.
The Current Situation
As per news reports, Harikesh was admitted to SRN hospital where doctors managed to treat him. Reports say that Harikesh and Lareb had a spat over the latter not buying a ticket, and Lareb was feeling humiliated over public insult.
As per reports, a team of anti-terrorism squad from Varanasi reached the spot and conducted investigations.
They reportedly told the media that it was a ‘lone wolf attack’. The phrase refers to acts of terror crimes that are carried out with the help or encouragement of a terrorist organisation or an agency.
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