Muslims perform last rites of KP teacher in Pulwama

By: Aabid Hameed

Pulwama: A group of local Muslims in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Sunday helped perform the last rites of an 80-year-old Kashmiri Pandit, who died on Saturday evening.

The local Muslims in Tumlahal village of Lassipora hamlet in Pulwama came together to help perform the last rites of their 80-year-old Pandit neighbour.

Makhan Lal Raina (80), resident of Tumlahal village about 10 kilometers from Pulwama town, was a retired teacher and a known figure in the village.

As only a few of his family members were around, Raina’s local friends and neighbours from the Muslim community took it upon themselves to help perform his last rites.

The local Muslims organized and performed his last rites and mourned his death as one of their own. They shouldered his coffin and arranged wood for the cremation in the village.

“He was one of us. We never thought of him as a KP. We arranged everything needed for the cremation,” said Mohammad Akbar, a local from the locality.

“He has been living here among us for many years. We have lived alongside each other and done everything together,” said Bilal Ahmad another local.

“We share a bond that goes back hundreds of years. When we heard about the sad news, all of us rushed to console the family members and arrange the last rites,” he said.

Locals said that this family has never left Kashmir despite facing many problems and it was their duty to help them. “Once we heard about her sad demise, we rushed to the spot and arranged everything and took part in his last rites,” they said.

“More than a neighbour, he was our teacher and presently I am gazetted officer but upto middle level, I was taught by Makhan Lal in the locality,” said Abdul Rashid, one of his students, adding that his students are in thousands and most of them were part of the last rites.

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