In times of grief and despair over the killing of a Kashmir pandit employee, the valley found a golden edge when Muslims and Hindus came together to say a final goodbye to an 80-year-old woman.
Kashmiryat and Insaniyat, for a while, lived over the despair after the brutal murder of Rahul Bhat, a clerk, who was shot down on Thursday by militants inside the Tehsil office in Chadoora. The police had blamed Lashkar-e-Toiba for the attack, claiming they killed two foreign terrorists in Bandipore, after traveling to Chadoora to perform Bhats murder. The 36-year-old employee, who has worked in the Valley revenue department for the past 11 years, had a tragic end; aroused gloom and excitement throughout the country.
On Saturday, less than two days after the atrocity, the villagers of Yar Khushipora in the southern Kashmir district of Kulgam organized a special funeral of Dulari Bhat, an 80-year-old Hindu woman who died while marrying a relative in a nearby area. village. .
Early on Saturday morning, she was taken to YK Pora for cremation. Since a few Hindu families lived there, local Muslim youths were assigned to arrange the burial of the village elders.
They quickly arranged everything – to pick up pieces of wood to set up a bonfire, make an open coffin to carry the body to the crematorium, petals and incense – until she was handed over to flames.
Dulari had gone to Mattan, Anantnag to attend a wedding ceremony for her relatives when her condition worsened and she exhaled. She was taken to her home village of YK Pora where lots of her Muslim neighbors were waiting for her body. Women lined up near her house with tears in their eyes.
“We have lived together for the past 50 years and have stood by each other in joy and sorrow,” said her friend Saja, looking pensive.
“We were going to celebrate festivals and participate in marriage together and it never occurred to us that we come from different faiths,” she said. “Her death is a personal loss for me and the whole village. I will miss her.”
The neighbors remembered her as a kind and wise person who would help them with chores and worldly things. The younger women were also fond of her and often showed up for advice.
“Our village is called Wakipora and it has been known for its brotherhood for centuries. Our grandfathers lived together in this village. Rinku Bhat and I, her younger son, have been friends for the past 30 years. We share a special bond, “a villager was heard saying, adding” the village is the best example of bonhomie and unity and we are proud of this heritage “.
Subhash Kumar Bhat, Dulari’s son, acknowledged the help from the Muslims and said that this is not unusual and that people should not be surprised.
“Our family was in mourning but they arranged everything for the cremation. That’s how communities should live, “he said. Others said the village” holds out hope for Kashmir at a time when polarization and negativity have damaged the country’s structure. “
The elder of the village remembers since Dulari’s marriage in the village, that she has spent all her years at YK Pora, made friends and had long conversations.
Bhats did not leave Kashmir despite the killing of Dulari’s husband in the early 1990s. For a while, the family’s wounds healed, but Dulari never let it come. “Both Muslims and Hindus suffered in the early 1990s and she was never angry with a society,” said Chunni Lal, a relative who had come to attend the funeral.
Kulgam bonhomie comes close to the tragic killing of Rahul Bhat and a series of targeted attacks on minority members, non-local workers, police and politicians.
Kashmiris of all shades have condemned the incident and staged protests and vigils to express solidarity with Hindus over the selective killings.
The LG government in Jammu and Kashmir has promised a government job in Jammu to Bhat’s wife in addition to covering the cost of education for her only daughter. The government linked to Chadoora’s station house official and ordered an investigation by a special investigation team into the murder to alleviate the damage to Kashmiri Pandits. Community workers working in the Valley, however, want the government to move them to Jammu until they are foolproof.
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