By Nishi Malhotra
Ujjain: Rain, hailstorms and high velocity winds disrupted activities at the Simhastha Kumbh fair in Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh, leaving lakhs of devotees scrambling for shelter and food. In a praiseworthy gesture of communal harmony, a couple of local mosques have thrown their doors open to Hindu pilgrims, inviting them in, to rest and take shelter from the stormy weather. As squalls hit the region twice in a row last month, causing some deaths and damaging camps in the Mangalnath area, the All India Muslim Tehwar Committee chief, Dr Ausaf Shahmiri Khurram asked members of the Muslim community to open their doors to Hindu devotees. Hundreds of Hindu families took shelter at Hari Masjid in the Topkhana area, as well as in the Sodgiran mosque. At the nearby Shipra ghats too, some young Muslim boys were stationed to prevent pilgrims taking baths from slipping into the water.