Close to 150 Hindu prisoners are observing Roza (fasting) inside Delhi’s Tihar Jail, in solidarity with the Muslim inmates fasting during the holy month of Ramazan.
Jail officers, quoted by Hindustan Times, said the number of Hindu prisoners who are fasting has increased this year. Last year, 59 Hindu prisoners had kept the month-long fast.
“Of the 16,665 prisoners spread across different jails of Tihar, at least 2,658 prisoners – that include both Hindus and Muslims – are observing Roza. We have made special arrangements for them. This year, the number of Hindu inmates fasting has increased to thrice the number compared to last year,” a jail spokesperson quoted in the report said.
Similar scenes are seen every year during Navaratri, the nine-day Hindu festival, as a large number of Muslim prisoners fast with their Hindu prison-mates.
'For Our Muslim Friends’
On being asked of the reasons behind observing the fast, Hindu prisoners gave different answers, the report adds.
“Most of them said they were doing it in solidarity with their Muslim friends. Maybe they did not want to admit that they are turning to religion after coming to prison. We have observed that 80-90 percent of inmates become religious inside prison,” jail officials told Hindustan Times.
“Religion is a way of finding peace. A few said they believe they could be released early if they pray to god,” a senior jail officer added.
Ramazan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran, to Muhammad, according to Islamic belief.
(With inputs from Hindustan Times)