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A man was nearly stabbed to death for adopting a Muslim girl who lost her parents in the 2007 Hyderabad blasts, according to a report.

In the attack that took place on June 1, the man, identified as Papalal Ravikanth, was stabbed 16 times by a group of people in Hyderabad who did not like the fact that a Muslim girl was being brought up by Ravikanth’s family, who belong to the Hindu faith.

According to a News18 report, Ravikanth survived the attack and is currently recovering in Hyderabad’s Osmania Hospital.

Ravikanth, who makes idols of Gods for a living, found the girl at the blast site near Gokul chat centre in Hyderabad in August 2007, and he and his wife brought the girl home after no one came forward to claim her.

He told News 18, “Sania Fatima lost her family in 2007 bomb blast. When no one came to claim her, we got her home. She brought lot of happiness to our family. We don’t believe in Hindu-Muslim, we believe in humanity. She is my eldest daughter and I will not leave her, no matter what.”

The Ravikanths have been receiving death threats ever since they brought Fatima home. But neither the police nor the government has done anything to protect the family, claims Ravikanth.

“This has been going on for years. We were told not to put Tilak on her. Then someone said keep her name Anjali or Sonia. We have no problem if she follows Islam. We believe in unity and harmony and appeal every one to live in peace,” he said.

The couple is now giving Sania best education so that she can stand on her own feet.

Fatima, who is now a grade 8 student, said she wants to grow up to become a police officer. “I want to be police officer. I want to teach people act of goodness. We all should learn to live together,” she said.