Muslims Perform Last Rites of Kashmiri Pandit Woman
When a Kashmiri Pandit lady, Neelam (32) died of heart attack here at Batnag area of Tral in Pulwama district in Kashmir recently, her Muslim neighbours immediately rushed towards her house to console her family.They not only mourned at her demise, but also performed her last rites. According to the family of the deceased, Neelam complained of severe chest pain and within ten minutes expired. The neighbours, mostly Muslims, thronged Neelam’s house to console her family including her two little kids. As the news of her death broke, locals were inconsolable. A tearful Mohammad Yousuf Naik said: “She was just like my mother and used to treat me like her own son.”People from adjoining villages reached her house to participate in her last rites.At least three Muslim women in her neighborhood fainted when they saw Neelam lying dead. Until their relatives from Jammu would reach Tral , the Muslims had kept all the arrangements ready for the last rites. Neighbour Bashir Ahmed Bhat says: “This is our primary duty to help our neighbours irrespective of their religion. Ashok is our neighbour and Islam teaches us to fulfill the rights of neighbour.”“We are thankful to our Muslim neighbors who treat us like a family. We never felt that we are from a different religion. We are the real symbol of Kashmiryat,” said Neelam’s father- in- law.