Muslim Neighbours Cremate Pandit Woman

Aakash Hassan

ISLAMABAD

Last Rites of Shanti Devi

Putting critiques to rest, funeral of a Kashmiri Pandit woman was conducted collectively by the Muslims and Pandits together, here in Nanil village.

80 year old, Shanti Devi, died on Sunday morning after some illness. As the news of death spread in Nanil village, people started pouring in the lone Pandit house, a local informed.

The arrangements for the funeral were conducted by the neighbouring Muslims. The wood for pyre was also collected by the Muslims, eyewitnesses said.

The relatives of the deceased lady, living in nearby Akhoora village, arrived to see preparations of funeral being held. The coffin was shouldered by the neighbouring Muslims and Pandits, side by side.

“I am not surprised that my Muslim neighbours are helping me,” Sham Lal, son of deceased shanti Devi, “We are like this and we help each other.”

“Not more than ten Pandits were present,” a local Bashir Ahmad said, “Muslim neighbours did everything for the last rities of the lady. We tried not to let them (the bereaved family) work. We are equally bereaved by the death of Bhabi.” Shanti Devi was famous as Bhabi in the village.

The incident came a day after CM Ms Mehbooba Mufti said that her government “can’t put pigeons before cats”. She was speaking in lower house of state legislature on Saturday and was referring to proposed Migrant Pandit Colonies.

Sham Lal on the occasion alleged that “Government was trying to put cracks in us” (Muslims and Pandits). “I am living in the Muslim community and I never faced any threat from my neighbour. We are living peacefully. They want to develop cracks in us,” he said.

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