A group of Muslim men collected Rs 50,000 to secure the release of 15 Hindu men from a jail in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh. The 15 men had been locked up for petty crimes like ticketless travel, according to The Times Of India. Unable to pay the fine for their crimes, the men were forced to serve an additional sentence in jail. However, to help their fellow countrymen, some Muslims took it upon themselves to pay for the freedom of these men.
Superintendent of the Bareilly district jail, BR Maurya said, “The 15 inmates were charged with petty crimes. Some were arrested on apprehension of breach of peace. They were serving out sentences ranging from six months to 10 years. The majority of them had served out the full sentence, but could not pay the fine imposed on them by court.” As they were released from jail on Wednesday evening, the 15 Hindus were welcomed by the Muslim men with a warm embrace that saw tears of joy from both sides.
One of the inmates, Nand Kishore shared his story about how even after serving the period of his sentence for ticketless travel, he was not released as he failed to pay a fine of Rs 1,000. Upon his release, Kishore made his way home with one of the Muslim men, Haji Yasin Qureshi, and his friends who pooled in money for his release.
Yasin shrugged off the effusive gratitude that the men showed him and his friends, and said it is just the Almighty who needs to be thanked. He told the 15 men that they should swear never to repeat their mistakes. The Muslim men’s help did not end there. They also made arrangements for Nand Kishore’s travel back to his native village and he was also given a small sum as ‘pocket money’. Others to walk free due the assistance provided by these generous Muslim men were Ajay Kumar, Kishan Sagar, Pappu and Tilak. All of them were warmly embraced as they emerged from the jail, all deeply moved by the gesture of their benefactors who had come to their aid in a time of crisis.
Yasin, who led the group that collected funds for the release of the men, said in a report in The Express Tribune,“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 Mohd Anees, a businessman, who too had contributed to the release of the men, said, “This is our land too, Hindus are our brothers. We were born here, we will be buried here and mix with the soil here.”