Displaying their spirit of inspiring harmony and friendship, a group of Muslim men in Bareilly, UP, pooled in money so they could pay a fine of Rs. 50,000 for the release of 15 Hindu prisoners. These prisoners were stuck in jail because of the lack of money to pay the required fine for their freedom.
They were in judicial custody for involvement in minor crimes like ticketless travel and were serving sentences ranging from six months to 10 years.
Picture for representation only. Source: Wikimedia
However, as their families were unable to arrange for the fine amount imposed on them by the court, they had to serve an additional sentence.
Once free, the Muslim men who paid for their release warmly welcomed them outside the prison on Wednesday evening. It was an emotional moment with smiles and tears all around. Nand Kishore, one of the people released, walked out happily surrounded the Muslim men who hugged him and walked along. They had also made arrangements for his travel back to his native village, and gave him a small sum as pocket money as well. Kishore had served the sentence period for ticketless travel, but was not released as he failed to pay Rs. 1,000 fine.
Haji Yasin Qureshi, who led the group that collected the funds, said that it was just the Almighty who should be thanked, while telling all the 15 men to swear that they would never repeat their mistakes.
Other prisoners who were released include Ajay Kumar, Kishan Sagar, Pappu and Tilak who were all deeply moved by this act of kindness in a time of crisis.
“When we learnt of their plight from jail authorities, we decided that we should do what we could. We are never guided by the feeling that our efforts should be directed only towards members of our own community. We believe that if we help in releasing a man from captivity, Allah will bless us. Moreover, what better occasion than a time when there is all this talk about who should live in this country and who should leave,” Haji Yasin Qureshi told The Times of India.