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Muslims perform last rites of Hindu neighbour setting example of humanity, communal harmony

Ramesh Mathur passed away on Tuesday after a prolonged illness at the age of 65 in ‘Kayasth Dharamshala’ of Shahpeer Gate area where he resided with his younger son Chandramauli Mathur. Ramesh was the caretaker of this Dharmshala.

Swati Sharma | Meerut |

In a touching gesture of humanity and display of communal harmony, Muslim neighbours of 65-year-old Ramesh Mathur came out and carried out his funeral procession in Shahpeer Gate area of the city as his relatives and elder son could not come out in view of the lockdown due to Coronavirus.

Ramesh Mathur passed away on Tuesday after a prolonged illness at the age of 65 in ‘Kayasth Dharamshala’ of Shahpeer Gate area where he resided with his younger son Chandramauli Mathur. Ramesh was the caretaker of this Dharmshala. At the time of his death, only his younger son Chandramauli was with him while the elder son Komal Mathur, who works in Delhi, could not make it at that time because of the ongoing lockdown.

Chandramauli, who was all alone, however, got the much-needed company and support of the neighbours who are all Muslims. Shahpeer Gate area where the father and son lived is Muslim dominated. In spite of the ongoing month of Ramazan, they came out displaying a perfect example of humanity and communal harmony.

Hifazzur Rehman, a neighbour, said that because of Corona none of the relative or family members of Ramesh Mathur could come to perform his last rites. Being neighbours it was our moral and social responsibility to stand with his son and help him in carrying out the last rites of his father the way it should be done as per the Hindu customs.

“We are living as neighbours since past so many years,” said Rehman adding that besides him others in the neighbourhood, mostly Muslims, came out to help him in preparations for performing the last rites of Ramesh.

Kriti Bhushan, also a neighbour of the deceased, said that the people of both the communities live there in a harmonious environment helping each other and celebrating each other’s happiness and festivals together since past many years.

Even our ancestors were living here with unity and harmony since 100 years or so, he added. Bhushan was also present at the time of the procession and cremation with his Muslim brethren.

The ‘Arthi’ of Ramesh Mathur, which is a wooden carrier on which the mortal remains are taken as a procession to the cremation ground, was prepared by the Muslim neighbours of the deceased. The work which was supposed to be done by family members and relatives was done by them along with son Chandramauli. Amid the Corona scare and lockdown, they also carried out the funeral procession wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. They reached the Suraj Kund Cremation Ground carrying the mortal remains on their shoulders. This was a rare sight at Suraj Kund which amazed those present there.

Ramesh Sharma, acharya at Suraj Kund Cremation Ground, confirmed that some Muslim men brought mortal remains of a Hindu man here on Tuesday for cremation. The cremation was done under the supervision and with the support of Acharya Sharma who said that they made sure that everything is done according to our Hindu traditions and said that he and the people present there were touched as it was the best example of communal harmony.

Earlier, on March 28, a similar incident surfaced in Bulandshahr when 40-year-old Ravi Shankar died due to Cancer in the Anand Vihar colony of the district. Due to the lockdown, his relatives were not able to come and consequently the Muslim neighbours helped the family in performing the last rites. They carried out the funeral procession and also chanted ‘Ram Naam Satya Hai’, as is practised  by Hindus, without any hesitation during the procession.