People volunteer to repair the house of a victim of communal clashes in Shivamogga
A group of people from different religions have extended their contribution to repairing an old house belonging to Vishwanath Shetty, who was murdered in a communal clash in Shivamogga seven years ago. Among those who worked in the past two days were Muslims, Christians and Hindus.
Hindutva activist Vishwanath Shetty was murdered by a mob near Gajanur on February 19, 2015. He died in the clash that erupted following an Indian Popular Front rally in the town That day. People returning from the rally allegedly assaulted him. He is survived by his elderly parents, his wife and his son. Over the years, his father passed away and his wife also passed away due to health issues. His mother, Meenakshamma, took care of her grandson Aditya (Vishwanath Shetty’s son). Now the boy is studying at a boarding school in Koppa. The old woman earns a meager sum by collecting plastic waste.
Following the murder of Hindutva activist Harsha on February 20, many politicians visited his family in Seegehatti and gave him financial aid. This prompted a few people to inquire about the status of Vishwanath Shetty’s family. Mr Srikanth, chairman of Shivamogga district of Janata Dal (secular), tracked down Vishwanath Shetty’s house at Alkola in the city on Saturday. “We were shocked to learn that the old woman had been living in the house without electricity for two years. She had not paid the pending bills for two years and as a result the power supply was disconnected. It was restored the same day,” Srikanth said.
Later, a team of workers, led by D. Shyam, who takes painting contracts, took over the cleaning and painting work. “When members of my team arrived on site on Sunday, they learned that the house belonged to Vishwanath Shetty. The workers voluntarily expressed their wish to do the work without pay. Our team is diverse with people from every major religion in the country. Gnan Prakash, a Christian, Jabiulla and Naushad, Muslims, and Karthik and Manjunath, Hindus, worked for two days,” he said. Shyam said he was happy to be part of the service to an old woman. “We are all human first and religion has no place in our group,” he added.
A few personalities and organizations have shown interest in helping the family and helping Vishwanath’s son complete his education.