New Delhi, Oct 2 (UNI) The Centre has decided to confer the 'Kabir Puraskar' for the year 2007 Grade-III on Mr Khalifa Gufran of Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, for saving Dalit youths from the cluches of the communally-enraged mob last year.
Kabir Puraskar is a National Award instituted by the Centre to recognise acts of physical/moral courage displayed by a member of one caste, community or ethnic group in saving the lives and properties of member(s) of another caste, community or ethnic group during caste, community or ethnic violence.
The award, given annually in three categories --- Grade-I, Grade-II and Grade-III, carries a cash amount of Rs 2,00,000; Rs 1,00,000 and Rs 50,000 respectively.
Mr Gufran was chosen for the award for his contribution towards communal harmony. Following a verbal duel over a petty matter on August 8 last year in the Kotwali area of the city, a scuffle ensued between Muslims and Dalits in which members from both the communities indulged in violence, which left many members from both communities injured.
As two Dalit youths, injured in the violence, were being taken to the district hospital, an already infuriated mob of the other community waylaid them. However, the timely arrival on the scene by Mr Gufran with the district authorities stemmed the violence and saved the youths from the clutches of the mob.
In doing so, Mr Gufran had put his own personal safety at risk.
In another incident on November 24 last year, Mr Gufran helped the district authorities in averting a possible communal riot in Saharanpur.
Again, on March 27 this year some people from Hindu and Muslim communities collected at Mohalla Jatavnagar and started pelting stones on each other. Mr Gufran reached there with his friends and helped the district authorities in restoring peace and normalcy.
Besides, Mr Gufran has been taking active part in promoting communal harmony in the past also and has been proactively assisting the district administration in maintaining peace and communal harmony during Hindu-Muslim festivals.