Communal harmony at its best: 59 Hindu prisoners observe fast with Muslim co-prisoners

New Delhi: 59 Hindu prisoners have been observing fast in Ramadan along with their 2,299 Muslim co-prisoners in Tihar jail. Though they follow a different faith, they have their own reason to observe roza.

A 45-year-old woman is fasting for the welfare of her son outside. Another prisoner is observing roza in hopes of an early release. A 21-year-old prisoner who came to jail a few months ago is doing so because he observed his Muslim co-prisoners fasting and wanted to participate with them.

There are 97 women inmates who are fasting. As the temperature reached 45 degrees Celsius in Delhi Jail officials have made special arrangements for prisoners observing roza.

Fasting inmates are served dates and rooh afza at the time of breaking the fast. Space has been made available for them to observe namaz in the morning hours. Besides jail timings have also been relaxed for prisoners who are fasting.

A jail officer who wished to remain anonymous is quoted to have said, “Inside the prison the one thing that the prisoners have is time. Each of them is troubled in their own way. Many of these prisoners try to change their ways and seek the end of their trouble in religion. Inside the prison, we see many cases of prisoners either finding a newfound religious connection or, in some cases, losing whatever little faith they had.”