Shopian: Keeping the example of communal harmony alive, Muslims helped their Pandit brethren conduct last rites of a lady at Pargochi village in Shopian on Thursday.
Uma Devi, who according to family members was around 100 years old and the mother of four children, was locally called as Hangnich, since she was daughter of Hagin village (in Pulwama). She passed away on Wednesday at Srinagar.
Despite heavy rains, dozens of Muslims were seen arranging wood and other necessary things for cremation. According to locals, such brotherhood among Muslims and Pandits is not new but a tradition being followed for decades.
Ravi Ji Bhat, a local Pandit, told Kashmir Reader that Muslims and Pandits have been living in harmony all these years. “For performing the last rites, Muslims help us make the arrangements. However, the rituals are only being performed by Pandits and Muslims sit at a distance,” he said.
Bhat added, “We also help each other during marriages. We invite each other and similarly help each other in times of need and difficulty.”
Abdul Rasheed Bhat, a Muslim neighbour of the bereaved family, said that though the religion is different, there is no difference in times of grief and happiness.
“They invite us to marriages and so do we. Similar is when anyone dies or gives birth and on festivals,” Abdul Bhat said.
One of the interesting things about this village is that two of the relatives of the deceased lady are Lumberdars of two villages, Pargochi and Krawoora. According to locals, no one in decades has ever complained about them, despite they belonging to a minority community.
Pargochi village is unique in the area as it has three mosques, a Sufi shrine, and two Pandit temples, with about a dozen Pandit families living here. Many local Pandit families, however, migrated to different states of India in the 1990s.