The Public Library Department of the Karnataka government has decided to donate as many as 8243 books to an economically underprivileged city worker who lost his library in Mysuru to a fire incident earlier this month, state education minister S Suresh Kumar Tuesday said.

"The Public Library Department would provide 8,243 books to Syed Ishaq's library, which fell prey to the mischief of miscreants," Karnataka primary and secondary education minister S Suresh Kumar said in a statement.

On April 9, a fire destroyed hundreds of books, including Kannada copies of religious scripts like the Bhagawad Gita and Quran, that had been collected by 62-year-old Syed Ishaq at his library in Shantinagar area over the last ten years.

Kumar said a proposal was sent to Kolkata-based Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation to support Ishaq’s library. “This foundation from Kolkata, which works under the aegis of the Union ministry of culture, would be able to offer good support to Ishaq’s library,” the minister added.

A daily wager, Ishaq's love for books culminated in creating his own library in a slum for the poor people living in the vicinity where he lived. He laid emphasis on popularising Kannada. This effort, however, did not go down well with some ''anti-Kannada forces'' who set it on fire, Ishaq has alleged.

"On many occasions, they (anti-Kannada people) had threatened me of dire consequences but I did not pay heed to them. Finally, they executed their plan," Ishaq had told PTI.

On April 17, the Mysuru City Police arrested a 35-year-old man in connection to the incident. City Police Commissioner Chandragupta said the man was arrested for carelessly throwing a matchstick after lighting a beedi which led to the outbreak of the fire near the library.

The police added that the accused, identified as Syed Nasir, had returned home next to the library in an “inebriated state after a fight with his mother and brothers”. “He (the accused) had lit a beedi before throwing the burning matchstick on the furniture and cushions kept in the open outside a sofa repair shop adjacent to the library. This led to the fire which destroyed the library,” he said.