BENGALURU: The attack on 22-year-old Samuel Haokip was unprovoked and racist, according to the victim and his family.
Samuel, who suffered stitches on his head where he was hit with a key, is recuperating at a hospital in Kothanur in Bengaluru. His face is swollen and he can barely speak.
The police, meanwhile, have arrested three people who attacked the Manipuri youth on Wednesday night. They have been identified as Joy Sachin (23) from Hassan; Jagdish (20) and Vijay alias Elli Vijay (18), both from Tamil Nadu. The three work with JPR Tent House near Byrathi Cross.
According to the victim’s brother Lunminthang Haokip, Samuel was returning home from work when he noticed the three men passing comments at a girl. The girl walked away and so did Samuel. As Samuel passed by, the men called him a “chinki” and “Chinese fellow”. Samuel still ignored the comments and continued walking towards his house, about 100 metres away.
“He does not believe in conflict and always asks me to keep my temper in check. He has always told me that it is best to walk away from unnecessary conflict,” his brother said.
On that night too, Samuel thought it best to walk away. However, the three men suddenly jumped on him and began beating him up. “When Samuel tried to defend himself, two of them held him back, while the third man beat him up. There was not much he could do,” Lunminthang said.
A woman social worker who was at the scene saw the entire incident unfold. She tried to capture the accused on camera but the pictures were blurred. She then screamed for help. On hearing the commotion, some passersby began gathering, Lunminthang said.
“Seeing this, two of the attackers ran away, but Samuel managed to hold on to the other man. However, passersby took hold of the attacker, slapped him and let him go,” Lunminthang said.
With the help of the social worker, Samuel informed his cousin brother Benjamin, who lived nearby. His brother and cousin ran to the street to find a profusely-bleeding Samuel sitting on the road.When Samuel, his brothers and the social worker reached Kothanur police station, the police were more interested in taking down his statement than providing first aid, Samuel’s family members alleged.
“About 45 minutes later, we had to point out to the police that Samuel had to be taken to a hospital and that is when they stopped,” Lunminthang said. After being arrested, the three men were brought to Avhieta Hospital, where Samuel is recuperating, for identification. According to Joy Sachin, one of the accused, Samuel abused them in “obscene language”, which is when they attacked him.
POLICE: NOT A RACIAL ATTACK
According to city police, the attack was not racially motivated. “Can you clap with one hand?” asked the investigating officer, when asked about the incident.
“These three were drunk out of their senses and something that Samuel said offended them and they attacked him,” he said. Vikas Kumar Vikas, DCP (North East) said the attackers initially started “teasing” Samuel, to which he retorted, which is when a physical fight began. “Samuel reacted to them which is when they attacked him physically. The public too have beaten up the three youngsters. We are taking strict action against the three men,” Vikas Kumar said.