Bulandshahr/Agra: At a time when the world is reeling under the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic and people are maintaining social distance in order to keep the virus away, people from the Hindu and Muslim communities came forward to conduct the last rites of a Hindu man in Bulandhshahr district of Agra.
Deceased Ravi Shankar passed away a couple of days ago (day not clear) after he took ill and the doctor diagnosed him with the cancer, says his son Pramod.
Bulandshahr, a small, congested district in West Uttar Pradesh, which shares its border with the national capital region, has remained as a hotbed of communal tension since the past two years when inspector Subodh Singh was killed by a mob. However, this act has once again proved that love is above hatred.
"Due to the fear of coronavirus and imposition of lockdown in the country, our relatives could not reach for the last rites of my father, but we are lucky that our neighbours stood with us at this moment of grief," says Pramod.
“Bhaicharayahi to hai.Hamareapne log aanahipaye fir bhiantimsanskaarhuaaurhamare Muslim bhaiyo ne hamarisabsezyadamadadki. Unhone mere pita jeekiarthikokandhadiya,"Pramod says. (This is brotherhood. Our own people couldn't come due to restrictions but still the last rites were done and our Muslim neighbours were the first to help us and were even pall-bearersof the body, chanting Ram Nam SatyaHai till the cremation site.)
Pramod claims that some news reports doing the rounds on national channels, web portals and other mediums that the sons refused to perform the last rites as my father was a corona patient are false.
He says his father was a cancer patient, which was diagnosed very late, due to which things went out of hands and he succumbed.
"There were more than 20 people from both the communities from our neighbourhood and now my faith in society has become stronger. The entire neighbourhood, irrespective of caste and religion, is now my family. Everyone is trying their best to take care of my family at this point of time," he says.
Mohammad Zubair, one of the members from the Muslim community who helped in performing the last rites of the deceased Hindu man, says: "It is the duty of the community to help each other in need."
Mohammad Mehtab, on being asked about the incident,says the biggest religion is humanity and this is a service to Allah.
“Every religion on this earth calls to serve humanity and help people in times of need, especially when someone has died and family members are helpless. So, it is our duty to help them. This is a service to Allah and no religion in this world stops anyone from doing so. The family ofPramod was in need and we decided to stand by each other. People from both the communities agreed and came up with whatever was needed to perform the last rites,” he adds.
Chemical Sprayed on Migrants?
Meanwhile, in Bareilly district, a large number of migrant workers who returned from different parts of the country were sprayed with chemicals in order to sanitise them after thermal screening in order to prevent the Covid-19 from further spreading. A purported video of this incident doing the rounds of social media, invited a lot of criticism for treating the poor migrants like insects.
“People were returning in large numbers so it was difficult to determine who all have been tested. So we sought a list of all such people from all village heads. Then they were put under quarantine. They'll be sent home if they don't show any symptom,” the District Magistrate JB Singh told news agency ANI.
Migrant, who was walking from Delhi, dies in Agra
Ranveer Singh, 38, who started walking from Delhi in a bid to reach his home in Morena in Madhya Pradeshdied due to cardiac arrest a day ago.
On Saturday, a migrant worker died on the roadside near Agra in the in Uttar Pradesh, the city's superintendent of police RohanBotre told Newsclick on the phone. A post-mortem was conducted and the body was sent to his native place, he added.
Another source said the victim was working as a delivery boy in a restaurant in New Delhi.