In a gesture that won the hearts of many, a Muslim man came to the aid of his Hindu friend in a riot-hit town in Assam by driving his pregnant wife to the hospital.

The incident happened in Hailakandi on 12 May, Sunday, when Ruben Das was faced with a major problem as his wife went into labour at a time a curfew was in place.

The Hailakandi administration had imposed a curfew following communal violence in which a Muslim man was killed and 14 people were injured.

He sought help from all quarters but there was no one who could drive his wife to the hospital. At this juncture, his friend Maqbool, an auto driver, decided to step in.

Maqbool took Das and his wife to the hospital in his auto at a great personal risk. His action helped Das’ wife deliver a healthy baby girl. Maqbool then brought the family back home.

Hailakandi Deputy Commissioner Keerthi Jalli on Thursday met Das’ family.

Commending Maqbool for his action, Jalli said he “took risk of facing police during curfew”.

“The child has been named Shanti. We liked this story and we want some more stories like these in the district so we are here to facilitate them,” she added.

On Monday, the local administration extended the curfew for 10 days.

Jalli spoke to members of the local community, political leaders, police officials and organisations.

According to Northeast Now, the superintendent of police Mohneesh Mishra and other senior officials were present at the meeting.

The local administration assured members of the community of stringent action against those involved in the violence.

Reports say that tension in the region started on Friday when bikes of Muslim devotees were vandalised while they were praying inside a mosque.