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Muslim convict celebrates Navratri in Bihar jail

By M I Khan
October 23, 2012 14:47 IST
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A Muslim convict, who is serving life term in Bihar's Bhagalpur Jail, has been observing fast during Navratri.

Mohammad Tanveer alias Langra, a convicted prisoner lodged in the central jail in Bhagalpur district, is religiously following Navratri rituals, according to Jail Superintendent Jitendra Kumar.

"It is difficult to differentiate Tanveer from other Hindu inmates, who are observing fast and performing rituals during Navratri," said Kumar.

Kumar told over the phone that Tanveer, a devout Muslim, proudly chanted Vedic mantras and recited verses from Durga Saptshati. He is also observing a fast for the larger part of the day, following a vegetarian diet and drinking only Gangajal during the day.

"Tanveer is eating fruits, milk and food without onion and garlic during Navratri like a Hindu devotee," Kumar said.

He said that Tanveer -- who is serving life term for a murder case -- was shifted from Munger Jail to Bhagalpur Jail in 2009.

"We have all seen him observing Navratri every year. But he claimed that he is observing fast for the last ten years during Navratri," Kumar said.

According to another official, Tanveer told jail officials as well as other inmates that his faith in Goddess Durga had its genesis in his devotion for Lord Shiva.

"He informed us that a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is located close to his house at Vardhe village in Munger. Gradually, he developed faith in Lord Shiva and his belief grew stronger with the passage of time as all his wishes had been fulfilled by the blessings of Shiva," said the official.

But Tanveer also has been "offering namaaz regularly and he observes fast during the holy month of Ramadan," said the official.

Interestingly, more than 40 Hindu inmates are helping Tanveer perform these rituals during Navratri.

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