Kangan : In a heart warming example of communal harmony and brotherhood Muslims of Kullan Gund village of Ganderbal district performed the last rites of a Kashmiri Pandit, who clung to his roots and refused to leave the valley when all others in his family fled in 90’s .
Avtar Krishan, 90, who worked with PWD and had retired in 2004 , died on Saturday after prolonged illness.
The communal harmony was on full display in Kullan Gund as members of the Muslim community assembled at the house of Avtar Krishan to prepare him for his last journey. He was the only Pandit in the Muslim majority village . He didn’t migrate in 1990s and stayed at his ancestral house till his last breath.
Locals informed that Avtar was not keeping well for the past five years and Muslim neighbours were taking care of him.
As the news of his death spread, neighbours thronged Avtar’s Kullan residence to perform his last rites. In the absence of his family member , the local Muslims organised the last rites of the deceased and mourned his death as one of their own.
“He was just like our own and we used to take share our happiness and sorrows with each other ,” said Gh Mohammad Sheikh , a resident of Kullan and his next door neighbour.
He said that to help our neighbours irrespective of their religion is our duty which we performed adding We have lost a member of our family .
Meanwhile top police and civil officials visited the Kullan area and after medico legal formalities the body was handed over to locals for last rites .
Later his local Muslim neighbours carried the bier to the cremation ground and also arranged the wood for his pyre and performed his last rites.
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