Muslim neighbours perform last rites of Kashmiri pandit man in Pampore


Pampore: Reviving the memories of the glorious traditions of communal harmony in Jammu and Kashmir, Muslim neighbours in this town helped perform the last rites of a Kashmiri Pandit who died last evening.

Ashok Kumar Wangoo died at his residence at Drangabal in Pampore town on Tuesday around 5.00 pm. He was rushed to the hospital where doctors declared him dead on arrival.

Instead of taking the mortal remains to Jammu, the Kashmir Pandit community decided to perform the last rites here. The members of the minority community expressed their gratitude to local Muslims for standing by their side through thick and thin.

“The deceased is Ashok Kumar Wangoo. He died yesterday around 5.00 pm. As soon as the news spread, people from the entire Drangabal mohalla and adjoining areas came over and helped with the formalities and arrangements for rituals of the departed soul. Men, women and children all helped us in it. We did not have to do much. This is not new for us as it has been there over a long time. This is Kashmiriyat. However, doing it in present times really means something. We are thankful to them,” said Raju Bhat, a Kashmiri Pandit neighbour of the deceased.

Mohammad Yousuf Malik, Wangoo’s childhood classmate and a Muslim neighbour, said his area has always been known for Hindu-Sikh-Muslim unity.

“We have never had any problems here. Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs have lived together amicably. We share each others’ joys and sorrows. The Pandit community decided that they will not take Wangoo to Jammu for last rites and it will be done here only. So we all came together to help,” Malik said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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