The COVID-19 curfew broke down religious barriers in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal city, after Muslims helped perform the last rites of their Hindu neighbour, whose relatives were unable to make it to the funeral.
In a display of harmony during this unprecedented crisis, Muslim residents of Teela Jamalpura locality in the old city, carried the body of their 50-year-old neighbour, who succumbed to a liver ailment on Wednesday.
“The woman died while undergoing treatment for a liver ailment in the early hours of Wednesday. And since none of her close relatives were around because of the lockdown, we took her body to the cremation ground at Chhola Vishraghat,” Shahid Khan, who made all the funeral arrangements, told PTI.
The deceased woman’s husband Mohan Namdeo is a small-time vendor and the couple has two sons, he said.
“The family is poor and the woman was ailing for a long time and died at government-run Hamidia Hospital,” he said.
People were mindful that only 20 persons could participate in the funeral as per lockdown norms, or else the entire community would have shown up for the last rites, he said.
Videos of Muslim men, wearing masks and skull caps, carrying the woman’s body on their shoulders to the cremation ground, were shared on social media.
A similar initiative was taken by Muslim men in Indore earlier this month.
Former Chief Minister Kamal Nath praised members of the Muslim community, saying such acts of humanity strengthen communal harmony, love and brotherhood.