HE COULD have never imagined that Bhopal Central Jail, where he is serving a life term, would one day be filled with soft tunes of ‘shehnai’ for his daughter’s marriage. But for Haroon Khan, this unique event took place on the jail premises on Sunday.
Like Haroon, 5 other fathers serving the term, had the pleasant experience of their lifetime when their children were married off by the prison administration on the jail premises with all possible pomp. All this on the Father’s Day.
Khan’s eyes welled up with tears. Yet, he was smiling as he blessed his daughter Zeenat and son-in-law Javed (son of another jail inmate Daud) after the marriage. The ‘nikaah’ was performed by Naib Qazi in the presence of dignitaries and jail administration.
Similarly, Ganesh Ram, who is serving the life term, had his son Kishor married off to another jail inmate Phool Chand’s daughter Sarita, and Hariram’s son Puran and Ramcharan’s daughter Bhuri were married as per Hindu rituals performed by the jail inmates who were trained as priests. Hariram and Ramcharan are also serving the terms.
Most of the male members of Haroon’s family are in jail and they zealously worked for making arrangements for the marriage. The entire jail staff was busy in decoration and preparations for the marriages right from the morning.
The six fathers had never imagined that they would be able to attend the weddings of their sons or daughters but once the marriages were fixed among the families of jail inmates, the administration decided to make arrangements and get the couples married at the jail.
The jail administration and Rawatpura Sarkar Bhakt Mandal gifted the newly wed couples suit, dresses, jewellery, fan, pressure cooker, a black and white television set, kitchenware and basic household goods.
Interestingly, the Muslim couple was gifted the pathani suit, batua, paandaan, sharaara, shalwar suit etc as wedding gift, the Hindu couples got safari suit, mukut, kataar, sari, tika in accordance with their traditions. The feast was held late in the evening. Ravishankar Maharaj (Rawatpura Sarkar) blessed the couples after the marriages were solemnised.
The jail band played the tunes during the celebration. Jail Minister Antar Singh Arya, Principal Secretary M K Rai and other senior officials were present.
Meanwhile, the temple on the hillock facing the jail where the prisoners have sculpted the idols of Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha, Lord Kartikeya, Lord Hanuman and Nandi, was opened for people today. The idols were consecrated and the prisoners paid obeisance at the temple.