Srinagar: A Muslim family has shown how communal bonds can remain intact even in times of strife in the Kashmir valley. They conducted the last rites for their neighbour a Kashmiri Pandit. The tragedy brought out the best in them.
Muslim locals in downtown Chinkral Mohalla braved the curfew to conduct the last rites of their Pandit neighbour 55-year old Krishan Chand Purbi who died of a protracted illness. They collected wood, erected a funeral pyre and got his daughter, relatives and even priests from outside the valley for the cremation.
Anita, daughter of Chand, said: "I did not face any inconvenience as our neighbours helped us a lot."
Showkat Ahmad, Chand's neighbour, said: "He was a loving neighbour and some 50,000 people were willing to attend his funeral but could not do so because of the curfew."
Chand had stayed back with his family here in 1990 when militancy forced more than 3 lakh Pandits to migrate out of the valley. He was among the 4000 Pandits who stayed back.
Chaman Lal Matoo, Chand's friend, said, "Thing are still the same here. Few people have tried to create a wedge between the two community but they are not going to succeed. There is absolutely no change in the relationships here."