Murder convicts turn entertainers; go great guns

Bhopal: Bhopal Central Band – a band of former inmates of the Bhopal Central Jail, who have completed their term – is going great guns.

Among the eight members of the band, seven were convicted for murder and have completed their life term. Imtiaz Khan, the music teacher at Bhopal Central Jail and mentor of the band said, “The band was set up on October 9 and so far, they have performed on stage seven times at different locations during Navratri,” he added.

They were all a part of the band of the Bhopal Central Jail when they were incarcerated there. However, after their release, they lost touch with each other.

‘Were missing their music days’

Bhopal Central Jail Superintendent Dinesh Nargawe says, “We have witnessed the magic of music in transforming the life of prisoners. All the ex-band members were called and it turned out that all of them were missing their days of music here. Eight of them agreed to come back to music. Jail authorities made arrangements for musical instruments and their mentor Imtiaz get bookings for their performances.”

Imtiaz says the challenge is securing bookings for the band. “I am trying to train the band members for all kinds of events – from bhajan evenings to Jagratas,” he said.

Nargave said, “We are planning to print cards and other literature, which would help them get more events.”

(Story: Manish Chandra Mishra)