We’re not moving into big bungalow, says Pathan’s father


Ahmedabad : Mehmood Khan Pathan, father of cricketers Yusuf and Irfan Pathan, has denied reports that his family is moving into a palatial bungalow, saying rumours were being spread because he is in a legal tussle with the trust that runs the mosque in Vadodara where he works.

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“I was shocked by media reports that we were moving into a bungalow worth Rs.25 million (Rs. 2.5 crores) in Vadodara. I never spoke to the press about any such thing, no one interviewed me,” Mehmood Khan, who works at the historic Juma Masjid, told IANS on phone from Vadodara.

“Yusuf did go to the collector’s office Thursday for a plot of land but no palatial bungalow is being built. The area around my house is being dug up to relay the water and sewer lines but some newspapers have reported that the foundation stone for a new house is being laid. These are planted stories and completely false,” he added.

“Ever since I went to court in the Quran Sharif case, my family and me have been subjected to harassment and humiliation by the chairman of the mosque trust, Dayma Kumar Vakil.

“Dayma and others have been spreading rumours against me. Although they sacked me from the position of the muezzin, I still go to the mosque and do the job that Allah has ordained me to do. I hope my stand is vindicated in the court,” Mehmood Khan said.

The genesis of the problems now facing the Pathan family may be traced to 2005, when Mehmood Khan decided to visit Irfan, who was playing in Britain.

He claims he had handed over the key to the room where the Quran was kept to a caretaker before leaving for Britain. However, the holy book was destroyed as water leaked into the room during the monsoon. The trust blamed him for it and he lost his job as a muezzin. However, he still works at the mosque in a different capacity and has filed a lawsuit, seeking reinstatement.

“I had permission to leave India from the mosque authorities. I never took the key to the room with me as alleged. That the Quran was damaged during the heavy monsoon rains was not my fault. The trust has never bothered about the upkeep of the building. The room where the Quran was in poor condition,” Mehmood Khan said.

“My father Sher Jamaal Khan had sacrificed his life working for the masjid at a salary of Rs.50. I am getting a salary of Rs.1,200 per month of which I pay Rs.500 as rent for a room in the mosque. Dayma, who also doubles up as manager, has been harassing me for money.

“I had loaned him Rs.40,000 and he keeps pestering me for more. I had spent Rs.100,000 for painting the mosque. Yet they have been spreading bad rumours about me and my family. The trust chairman is jealous of my sons making it big in the cricketing world,” he said.

The media has also been spreading false stories about Irfan having a girlfriend. This is all wrong and unethical,” Mehmood Khan told IANS.

Though Mehmood continues to pay Rs.500 as rent for his rickety room in the mosque, the Pathan family shifted from the one room to a new duplex house in the Haji Park Society here a few years ago.