Man, 20, slashed by cousin, friend with 'watermelon knife'

Mr Mohammad Ashiq Saptu broke his legs and left arm while trying to shield himself from an attack by his cousin and friend.
Mr Mohammad Ashiq Saptu broke his legs and left arm while trying to shield himself from an attack by his cousin and friend.ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA

A REMOVAL man was recovering in hospital from horrific slashing injuries yesterday after his cousin and a friend attacked him with what he described as a "watermelon knife".

Mr Mohammad Ashiq Saptu, 20, broke his legs and his left arm while trying to shield himself from the two men, who punched and slashed him on Sunday following a row which began several days earlier.

Speaking to The Straits Times from Khoo Teck Puat Hospital yesterday, a bandaged and weak Mr Ashiq said doctors told him they may need to amputate his right leg should a major operation fail today.

The attack happened at around 5.30pm at Block 641, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4.Mr Ashiq recalled:"I was talking to my cousin alone. I was shocked when my friend suddenly came and he was armed. It happened very fast."

He said the trio's disagreement began when he was supposed to meet the cousin - his attacker - and another cousin a few days earlier. The cousin stood him up for five hours and Mr Ashiq later found out this was because he was out "having fun" with the friend.

An angry Mr Ashiq phoned the cousin over the incident and a quarrel ensued.

On Sunday, the cousin asked to meet him at the block where Mr Ashiq's girlfriend lives and where he had stayed the night.

Mr Ashiq went down to meet him before the friend appeared and told the cousin to hold him down before the pair launched their brutal attack. "I was disappointed that my cousin pushed me to the floor when my friend told him to," said Mr Ashiq.

His attackers had been living with him and his family, but 11/2 years ago, his mother kicked them out as they were unemployed.

Ms Natasha Sazri, a student who lives on the third floor of the block, witnessed Sunday's horror after going out of her home to see what the commotion was about.

"My grandmother also rushed out and started screaming 'police, police'," the 21-year-old said. "The man who was slashing ran away immediately but the other man let the victim go and threw him a few punches first."

She said the men fled in different directions and Mr Ashiq's girlfriend - student nurse Nor Shafika, 19 - cradled his head in her lap before help arrived.

Ms Natasha said Ms Shafika was crying, but talked to her boyfriend to keep him awake because his eyes were starting to close and he looked pale.

Around 10 of the victim's family members gathered outside his ward yesterday.His mother, a 36-year-old housewife who wanted be known only as Nor, said: "When I heard about it, I wanted to faint. When I went there, there was so much blood."

She added that Ms Shafikafollowed Mr Ashiq downstairs because she felt "something was wrong".

Police said they received a call at 5.35pm informing them of the incident.

Meanwhile a group of up to eight men attacked a 20-year-old full-time national serviceman with umbrellas, leaving him with head and facial injuries.

Mr Jeyentiran J. had gone to make a bank transfer at an ATM when he was attacked at his block in Serangoon North Avenue 1 at 10.40pm on Sunday, said his 24-year-old sister Lavanya Cynthia. Police are investigating both cases.