As mobile and internet services, barring BSNL, were snapped in the Valley on May 6, villagers of Wakura, in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal, came together in a show of communal amity to conduct the last rites of a migrant worker from Punjab.
Ranvir Singh, in his 30s, was declared dead on arrival at the local hospital. Officials said it was a natural death.
“We had contacted his family in Punjab so that the body could be taken to his village. But soon phones and internet were shut across the Valley and we lost contact with the family. Locals and his relatives here decided that we will conduct his last rites here,” Waseem Ahmad, a local resident, told The Indian Express.
Villagers, Waseem said, had no idea about how to go about performing the last rites. “We asked his colleagues and his cousins here what needs to be done. Villagers arranged everything and rites were conducted as per their religious customs,” he said.
Residents said as they learnt about Singh’s death, some locals youths volunteered and collected money from villagers. “Some of the money collected was transferred to the family’s account,” a villager said. “From cutting woods to making other arrangements for his cremation, everyone from the village came forward to help — everyone was present until the cremation.
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