Muslims performed last rites of their Pandit neighbor

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Displaying once again the humane side of their personalities, Muslims in Shaher-e-Khas performed the last rites of a Kashmiri Pandit who breathed his last on Saturday.

Dhanraj Malhotra, a Kashmiri Pandit from Maharaj Gunj area of Srinagar City who clung his roots and refused to leave the valley when all others from his community fled during the hey days of militancy was not in good health from past few weeks. “Our Muslim brothers took care of my father when he was alive and performed his last rites after his death,” Bharat Malhotra, the son of the deceased said adding that he never felt he is a Pandit living in majority Muslim area.

Bharat Malhotra said that his uncle (brother of deceased) Tilak Raj Malhotra was killed by unknown gunmen in 1993 and despite that incident, “my father stayed here. He took care of his nephew as well who lives in the same house in the old city.”

As the news of his death broke, locals were inconsolable. “We were really very upset over his demise. We always treated him and his family our own and there is no personal ill-will between us,” said Muhammad Sultan a trader.

“To help our neighbors irrespective of their religion is our duty which we performed. We have lost a dear friend who stood with us in the best and the worst of the times,” his Muslim neighbor said.

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