Nayagarh: A 19-yr-old Muslim youth from Odisha’s Nayagarh district came into the lime-light as he was among the 21 persons and organisations who moved to Supreme Court seeking recall of its order staying the historic Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra in view of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The young boy has been identified as Aftab Hussain, who hails from Itamati area of Nayagrah district. He is a final year BA commerce student at the Nayagarh Autonomous College .
Despite being a Muslim, he offers prayers to Lord Jagannath and eats vegetarian food all lifelong. He was influenced by Lord Jagannath since his childhood. He has also read several books on Lord Jagannath and has developed a deep devotion towards him.
He is also referred to as the second Salabega of the state in the social media. Salabaega was a Muslim man and one of the greatest devotee of Lord Jagannath.
His grandfather had a vast knowledge of Ramayan and Mahabharat and had constructed a Trinath temple at Itamati in 1960.
Aftab’s father Imdad Hussain, mother Rashida Begum and younger sibling Anmol support him worshiping the idol of Lord Jagannath. He has never visited the shrine as he was born into a Muslim family.
Aftab had filed a petition before the Supreme Court seeking a partial modification in order to conduct Rath Yatra in Puri opposing the Odisha Vikash Parishad which sought a stay on the Rath Yatra through his advocate P. K. Mohapatra on June 17.