by Umaiser Gul Ganai
SRINAGAR: The adversity of the situation is unlikely to alter the ground realities of communal amity and brotherhood. While most of the Kashmiri Pandits living and working in Kashmir remained preoccupied in protests over the killing of Rahul Bhat in Chadoora, Muslims in Kulgam remained busy in the last rites of their neighbour.
The 80-year-old Kashmir Pandit lady had gone to Mattan, Anantnag to attend a relative’s marriage. There, her health deteriorated and she breathed her last. She was brought to her native village Y K Pora, Kulgam, where hundreds of Muslims especially neighbours and locals were waiting for her body.
Local news gatherer KNO said her family has been living in the villages for generations and was sharing a strong bond. “The deceased was a great human being who would visit Muslims on the occasion of festivals and also whenever anyone among us would die. She was part and parcel of the composite culture and today, it is our duty to return the favour by ensuring her last rites are performed as per their religious rites,” said Altaf Ahmed, a resident.
The deceased, Dulari Bhat, 80, wife of late Janki Nath, spent all her years in her native village Y K Pora along with locals of the area.
Saja Bano, the friend of Dulari, said that deceased was her close friend and they would spent days together. “Her death is a great lost for the entire village. It’s a personal loss for me as I have lost my good friend,” she said.
Subash Bhat, the son of Dulari, said that they are thankful to the Muslims of the area who stood with them in this hour of grief. “We have been living together and we didn’t flee Kashmir despite the fact that our father was killed in 90’s. Since then, we have been living together with Muslims of the area, who are with us in time of this great loss,” he said.
Chuni Lal Bhat, a relative of Dulari, while thanking the Muslims of Y K Pora, said that Kashmir is the best example of communal harmony, brotherhood and Pandits and Muslims share a great and strong bond that has been there since decades. “Today, Muslims of the area stood with us and participated in the last rites of Dulari. They remained present till Dulari was cremated,” he said, adding that “Muslims and Pandits are incomplete without each other.”
Dulari’s demise took place at a time when Kashmiri Pandits are protersting over the killing of Rahul Bhat, who was working at Tehsil office Chadoora, Budgam. The killing has sparked massive protests across Kashmir with migrant KP’s demanding security and safe postings. Civil Society groups too have condemned the killing of Rahul and urged the KP’s to strengthen the communal fabric in Kashmir. The LG Manoj Sinha led administration has stated that killers of Bhat will have to pay a heavy price while as the divisional administration is working on to provide safe and security accommodation to the KPs working under Prime Minister’s Rehabilitation Packaged in Kashmir besides streamlining their postings.