Bandipora, June 4: Besides her two sons, the residents of Ajar locality of Bandipora district surrounded the body of Rattan Rani, a Kashmiri Pandit woman in her nineties who passed away Thursday night.
The local Muslim men, who seemed as inconsolable as her two sons, said,
“She was like our Mouj.”
In another corner of Rani's house in Pandith Mohalla, Muslim women sat huddled together amid sobs.
Ghulam Ahmad Kumar, a resident of Ajar said that Rani's husband, late Pandit Kashi Nath had served the local community as a teacher.
Locals said that he was the founder of the premier and renowned school of the time, Iqbal Memorial, located in the town.
Rani and Nath are survived by two sons and a daughter.
Pandit Iqbal Nath and Pandit Pyaralal their two sons are retired government employees and still live in the same locality among the Muslims.
"Our Muslim brothers always stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us," Pandit Iqbal Nath said.
As the time for Rani's cremation neared, her family and the Pandit priest recited sacred hymns while the Muslims stood in silence in respect.
As both the Kashmiri Pandits and Muslims shouldered Rani to the nearby crematorium, locals prepared to arrange firewood.
Meanwhile, the Muezzin called the faithful for Friday prayers.
Listening the Adhaan, a local youth with flowing beard talking to others in th crematorium said, "It will take us an hour or so to finish the cremation following which we will offer Friday prayers together."