Good news in a long while by Mohammed Ataur Rahman (JULY 10, 2007)

It is not often that we have good news about Muslims in the mass media. If ever our young men and women come in for a mention it is likely to be for the wrong reasons and with negative undertones. However, we had a pleasant change a few days ago when almost all major dailies published from the national capital carried a laudatory report (with pictures) about two young men who had shown extraordinary courage in the face of fatal danger. The two public-spirited young men were Muslims.

Last week a former army man turned gangster, Anil Fauji, shot dead a chartered accountant, Santosh, coming out of a bank. Fauji was trying to escape brandishing a gun as a large crowd of bystanders watched passively. He was carrying the bag containing Rs 8.65 lakh which he had taken from Santosh after killing him. The hero of the story, 24-year-old Meraj, was going from Delhi towards Noida riding the pillion as his friend Wahid drove the bike. Seeing the commotion before him Meraj slid off the bike as it slowed and grabbed the gangster’s gun-carrying forearm. Fauji kept on threatening to shoot him down, but somehow he managed to twist his arm and held him in a gridlock from behind till his friend Wahid came along, disarmed the gangster, took his bag and handed him over to the crowd.

Emboldened by Fauji’s disarmed status the crowd thrashed him well before handing him over to the police. Meraj refused to give the bag to a constable, then to a senior constable, and to a sub-inspector. He insisted on giving the bag to an IPS officer only, which he promptly did after the arrival on the scene of a DCP. This shows how little trust an ordinary citizen reposes in the constabulary. They don’t think that money would be safe in police hands, especially the lower order.

Police officials present at the scene announced they would recommend the two young men’s names for police honours. The company whose money was looted also appreciated the courage of the young heroes. Fauji was sent to jail, but may not remain there for long. This poses security problems for the two young men as his gang would try to strike at Meraj and Wahid sooner than later.

If they succeed in hurting the two it would be a big public slap on the face of the police. They must ensure the security of these two young men till the risk disappears. We wonder why can’t  we have more such young men among us who are positive about life, are public-spirited and courageous.

Mohammed Ataur Rahman


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