Two Muslims honoured for helping Hindus during riot, terror attack

October 2nd, 2008 - 9:25 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 2 (IANS) Two Muslims, one from Gujarat and the other from Jammu and Kashmir, will be honoured with the Kabir Purskar 2008 for saving lives of Hindus during violence.While Abdul Gani Abdullabhai Qureishi, resident of Vadodara in Gujarat, saved two Hindu families from a rioting mob in 2006, Ghulam Ahmed Bhat from Jammu and Kashmir protected lives of several Kashmiri Pandits in a terror strike in 1997.

The Kabir Puraskar is a national award instituted by the central government in recognition of acts of physical or moral courage displayed by a member of a caste, community or ethnic group in saving the lives and properties of members of another caste, community or ethnic group during caste, community or ethnic violence.

The award carries a cash prize of Rs.50,000.

According to a home ministry statement Thursday, Qureishi saved lives of two Hindu families during communal violence in Vadodara May 1, 2006, following the demolition of a dargah.

“A large violent mob of Muslims had assembled there and two Hindu families in two vehicles passing through that area got caught in the mob fury. Qureishi without caring for his safety, displaying exemplary physical courage, entered the mob riding on his scooter,” the press statement said here.

“Braving the stones pelted by the mob, Qureishi stood there firmly and valiantly rescued both the vehicles with their Hindu occupants from fury of the mob.”

On May 26, Qureishi saved Kalpesh Madhusudan Pawar from another riotous mob. According to the statement, had he not barged into the rioting mob, Pawar would have been hacked to death.

Bhat also displayed exemplary courage. “In March 1997, militants attacked village Sangranpora, in Budgam district in Jammu and Kashmir, in which seven Pandits were killed. Bhat reached the spot even before the police and stood guard for whole of the night saving the rest of the family members.”

“On the day following the massacre, Bhat cremated the deceased persons without caring for his own life. Bhat also helped their family members in completing legal formalities required for getting the compensation,” the statement added.

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