Shopian: In yet another example of communal harmony, Muslim neighbourhood in Shopian on Saturday shouldered body of a Kashmiri Pandit for miles amid snowfall and performed his last rites.

Eyewitnesses from Pargochi Shopian said that Muslim neighbours of Bhaskar Nath who passed away in a Srinagar Hospital on Saturday morning shouldered his dead body for miles amid heavy snowfall.

They said that the ambulance in which the dead body of the deceased was being carried wasn’t able to move due to accumulation of snow on the road.

They said that locals took out the dead body and carried it on their own shoulders for a distance of at least 10 kilometres to Pargochi in Imamsahib belt of Shopian.

As per the locals, the ambulance driver had called the family of the deceased who informed their Muslim neighbours and without any hesitation, all the villagers rushed to the spot and carried Bhaskar on their shoulders.

Later, upon reaching Pargochi, the locals made all the arrangements for the last rites of the local Pandit.

Elders, young and children were among villagers who made last rite preparations.

Shami Lal, a close relative of the deceased said that Muslims have been part of our community for a long time especially since 1989 when most Pandit families left the valley.

“However, few families of the Pandit community never left the valley and we are living with Muslims like our own brothers. We never felt like a minority here. We are living here with love, brotherhood and harmony,” he said.

Shami thanked his Muslim community members for always helping them and remaining with them in happy and sad times.

Later hundreds of Muslims visited the bereaved family’s home for condolences.

Raashid Ahmad, a villager said that they always help them in conducting last rites, marriages and share joys and sorrows like Muslims. “This is what neighbours are supposed to do,” he said.

Survived by a son and two daughters, Bhaskar died due to kidney failure at SKIMS Soura on Saturday morning. (KNO)


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