Pulwama, March 15 : Keeping alive the age-old tradition of communal harmony, Muslims in Wahibugh village of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district helped in performing last rites of a Kashmiri Pandit.
Scores of people from Muslim community took part in the last rites of Paray Lal Pandit, at Wahibugh village of Pulwama.
Paray Lal, 69, passed away on Tuesday afternoon and his last rites were held today at a local cremation site in the village.
Scores from Muslim community walked with his funeral to the cremation site .
On Tuesday as the news of Paray Lal’s passing away spread, Muslims started visiting his house in Batapora area of Wahibugh and helped in arranging wood for making the pyre.
They also helped in arranging other things used in performing the last rites.
Ghulam Nabi Sofi, the village representative of Wahibugh, said that Muslims of Wahibugh and many neighbouring villages visited the residence of the deceased to sympathise with the bereaved family members.
“Paray Lal was a generous person and a noted social activist,” Nabi said, adding that he used to be the first person to help those in need irrespective of their religion or caste.
He also told that Paray Lal served the area as post manager of a local branch of a Indian Post department.
The villagers said that he would himself collect post from people and dispatch the return posts at their residences when it was not part of his duty.
“It was the duty of a runner to dispatch the post. You see all of us are widely mourning the death of this pious man,” Nabi said.
He said barring main rituals, the Muslims helped in arranging various things for his cremation.
An aged resident who identified himself as Ghulam Mohammad Magray said that death of Paray Lal is a big loss for Wahibugh and neighbouring villages.
“He was a great human being, helpful and a staunch supporter of communal harmony in the area,” he said.
He told that death of Paray Lal Pandit left them in tears and they have been severely grieved.
“We as neighbours share their grief and sorrow, we have been living together from so many years through thick and thin,” Manzoor Ahmad, a local said, adding that helping Pandit neighbours at this moment is their duty.
He said that the Pandit neighbours too help them in their daily lives and its is a part of their age old traditional rite .
“The members from the Muslim community have been very helpful and supportive,” Parray Lal’s son said, adding that apart from main religious rituals, they have been assisting them.
Commandant 183 Battalion, CRPF, RD. Jeany Anal also visited the bereaved family and sympathised with them.
He also appreciated Muslim community members for supporting their Pandit neighbours.
Paray Lal’s death leaves Muslim neighbour grief-stricken
On Wednesday morning, Mohammad Rajab Sheikh, 66, walked with the funeral of his deceased Pandit neighbour, Paray Lal Pandit, along with other residents to the cremation yard.
Sitting in one corner of the cremation site at the village outskirts, Mohammad Rajab, gazed at the pyre as villagers were bidding adieu to Paray Lal.
As the flames starting pluming high, Rajab’s face turned pale and his eyes welled up with tears.
Though, people from both the Pandit and the Muslim community of Wahibugh were in deep mourning over the loss but Rajab was one among the few who were severely grieved.
“I am tremendously grieved with his death,” Rajab said, adding there is a reason why he has been shattered with the death of his Pandit neighbour.
Rajab narrated that in 1999 a life threatening disease struck him and he had to undergo a surgery at a hospital in Mumbai.
“For the surgery I had to arrange a decent amount,” Rajab said, adding that he was very upset after his close relatives drowned their shoulders.
“ They had apprehensions that I would not survive and their money would go in vain,” he said.
He narrated that it was his neighbour Paray Lal who knocked his door at the dead of night and offered him financial help.
“He helped me when my close relatives turned away and that too without letting anyone know about it,” Rajab said.
Rajab repaid the amount after he recuperated but the gratitude remains unpaid.
“ I will never forget Paray Lal’s favour at the time of need,” he said, adding that not only he was helped financially but Paray Lal asked his son to accompany Rajab to Mumbai to look after him.”
Rajab narrated that doctors in Mumbai asked them to arrange one pint of blood before surgery.
“ Paray Lal’s son had donated one pint of blood without letting us know,” he said, adding that on the death of such a good neighbour he has been shattered.
He was not only pious but also a very intelligent person who used to counsel villagers on important public issues.