Ishrat’s fate

Dec 20 2009, 11:30 A.M, Sunday. ‘My name is Ishrat. I am 13. Before I worked with Agarwal Sweets, at Zakir Nagar main road as waiter – a week before, left because there was not much work- felt so much bored all day, paid on 7 th of each month, they never called names, never beat me up, came here so that work will keep me busy and there are other children working here.

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The Mullah and the innocent thief

As I descended the last stairs in its open cemented compound, facing the main gate, I was instinctively drawn towards the spot where a motley crowd of around 100 faithfuls had gathered around a person wearing loose blue shirt, red threads tied around his wrist. The man was terrified and was making weird gestures. He was the same man who distributed free Urdu News paper: ” Aftab-e hind” to the faithfuls every Friday. I too had collected the newspaper from him a number of timesin the past. “pickpocket”, “thief” such words bandied in the crowd. The cloud dissipated. The Mullaji – one of the maulanas and caretakers, a young man in his 30 had beckoned the poor man from inside the mosque compound. He refused his biddings. The Mullah had sprinted towards him. He made a bid to flee in panic. He was caught. As Mullaji grappled with him he laid himself flat on the sidewalk. The faithfuls coming out of the mosque after offering friday prayer lifted into the compound holding his hand and feet and without giving a second thoughtbeat him up. That was the end of the matter with him.”Your manner of beckoning him must have been intimidating that made him panicky, given he is a poor fellow and belonging to another community.” I said angrily.The Mullahji retorted : ” The same treatment would have been meted out to you if you had behaved like him””I would have thrashed you if you had done so with me” I said.”you’d have known if it had only happened.” replied mullaji dirisively.Some lawyers from our court who had come to the mosque to offer Friday prayer approached the site and asked me to leave the place because they were afraid about my safety.As I was leaving the mosque the mullahji passed highly derogatory and provocative comments. He also was making fun of my weak frail and poor dress to the accompaniment of laughter of the crowd of faithfuls there and additions and polishing up of taunts.This happened day before yesterday on Friday the 24th June 2009 at grand Jamiat mosque situated at I.T.O New Delhi.Remorseless Mullaji.