Kulgam:- Entire Malvan village in Kulgam district turned out to pay respects to their lone Pandit neighbor who died on Saturday.
Janki Nath who refused to leave his home following the outbreak of turmoil in Kashmir in early nineties died at the age of 90 on Saturday following protracted illness.
Janki Nath who had one daughter, was living alone for last several years.
It were the Muslim neighbors who performed Janki Naths last rites at the local Shamshan.
A house left behind by Janki Nath in Malvan Kulgam.
‘Kashmiriyat’, which is about the bonding between the majority Muslims and minority Hindus of Jammu & Kashmir, something many say is on the wane in the restive state, was on full display at Malvan village, about 10 km from Anantnag town.
Janki Nath refused to migrate from the Valley despite perennial threats faced by Kashmiri Pandits since the onset of militancy and was the only Pandit house hold in Muslim majority village which have around 5,000 households.
Janki Nath who worked for Irrigation Department and had retired in 1990 was unwell for last 5 years. Naths daughter who has not been living with him did not see him even in his last days. As the news of his death spread neighbors started pouring in Janki Nath’s residence to perform his last rights.
Gull Mohammad Alai and Jahangir Ahmad, close neighbours who looked after Janki Nath during his last days, wept inconsolably. “He was like head of our family, they told the Kashmir Observer.
The entire village respected him for his honesty and loyalty towards his neigbours.
Muslims neighbours carrying the body to the cremation ground
“It was his decision to stay on and not to leave,” recalled Sarpanch of Malvan Ghulam Hassan Kumhar. He has only one daughter and she lives in Delhi from last 10 years and she did not came even once to see her father after he fell ill. We called her many times but she refused to come here, recalls the Kumhar.
However Muslim neighbors welcomed Janki Naths other relatives who came from other parts like Kulgam and Qazigund to join the last rites, comforted them and opened their homes to accommodate them.
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