Shopaian, Sep 2 : On Thursday evening , when the body of Chuni Devi reached her village, her Muslim neighbours made a beeline to her house to comfort the grieving family members.
75-year-old Devi, a resident of quaint Pargochi village in south Kashmir's Shopian district breathed her last in SMHS, Srinagar after a brief illness. The members of the Muslim community not only shared the grief of the bereaved family but also helped the family to perform the last rites of Devi.
"They arranged the wood and helped in building the pyre", said Ravi ji, a relative of Devi. He said that their Muslim neighbours rushed to their house as soon as they heard about the death of Devi.
Hailing the village as a paragon of communal harmony, Ravi said, "We have been living in harmony since decades here and always stand by each other through thick and thin."
There are nearly 10 Kashmiri Pandit families, who stayed put in the village after most members of the community left their homeland in troubled nineties. Interestingly , the village of well-heeled apple orchardists comprising 119 house holds has a Hindu village head.