There was no internet working, no social media and no cameras around either, but there were sighs, sobs, grief and wails and a pall of gloom all around; as if it was the loss of someone from their own. Although sombre, the scene was still heartening—it was Muslims mourning death of a non Muslim man, here in a Wakura village of central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district.
Displaying once again the humane side of their personalities, the Muslims of a village here in Wakura tehsil of central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district performed the last rites of a non Muslim who died here few days back.
Ranveer Singh, a resident of Punjab was working as a carpenter in Wakura area of Ganderbal district, and died reportedly after suffering a cardiac arrest few days back. The death of the non local laborer was mourned by the local Muslim population with local youth shouldering the body of the deceased amid sobs and wail by some women in the area. Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and holy month of Ramadhan the local Muslims outnumbered the Hindus who arranged everything for the last rites of the deceased.
The Muslims stood calm at the cremation ground as one of the colleagues of the deceased Ranveer lit the pyre.
Later, amidst sighs and sobs Singh was consigned to flames as per the Hindu tradition. The mourners were seen comforting Rakesh, a colleague of the deceased person, as he made rounds around the pyre.
Local Muslims organized and performed the last rites of the deceased and mourned his death as one of their own. He was cremated at Wakura area in presence of the officials from local administration.
” They were a few non local laborers working here for last several years, adding that this year too they arrived in early January for work however unfortunately one of them after a brief illness died few days back” said Abdul Rehman a local resident.
He said that amid the lockdown and communication breakdown at that time it wasn’t possible to transport his body to his home in Punjab, adding that after family consent the local Muslims arranged everything and performed last rites of the deceased. He said that even the locals arranged some money to financially help the family of the deceased in Punjab.
“To help our neighbors irrespective of their religion is our duty which we performed” he said. “Islam teaches us to maintain brotherhood and harmony. It was our duty to reach out to our non Muslim neighbors in the hour of grief,” said another local Mohammad Sidiq.
” Kashmir is different than what is shown outside, adding that it was only possible with the help of the local Muslims that we could perform last rites of of the deceased” Rakesh Singh, colleague of the deceased said.