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Assam: Muslim Migrants from Bihar Get Shelter in Hindu Household, Local Muslims Cremate Hindu Woman

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Dev Kumar (in blue shirt) with some of the Muslim migrant workers from Bihar (Photo credit - EPS)

This is our India. These are our values. This is Indianness. Let us strengthen this tradition — Vice President of India

Inclusive India

Dhubri (Assam), May 17— At a time when communal hatred is being spread through social media, nice people on the ground are doing great acts of communal harmony and brotherhood.

Since the lockdown was imposed across the country on March 24 in order to contain Coronavirus, 13 Muslim toymakers from Bihar are stranded in Dhubri district of Assam. A local Hindu family has since been sheltering them in their own house and making special arrangement for them in view of the ongoing Ramazan.

Dev Kumar (55) did not think twice before giving shelter to 13 stranded toymakers from Bihar’s Khagaria and Saharsa districts under his roof, reports The New Indian Express.

“I give them shelter every year. They make toys with bamboo, plastic and earthen items. I manufacture the earthen items in my pottery and sell those to them. They sell the finished products in some fairs in Dhubri district,” Kumar told the English daily.

Due to the lockdown, the toymakers could not return to Bihar. And then Kumar and his Hindu neighbours came up and provided them shelter and food.

“I have two extra rooms where they stay. This being the Ramzan month, somebody brings fruits and somebody else brings something else for them. Every evening, my family offers puja and they offer their Ramzan namaaz,” Kumar said.

In the same Dhubri district in the first week of April this year, about 25 members of the Muslim community had performed the last rites of their neighbour and elderly Hindu widow Shanti Choudhary, 75, as her relatives could not reach her house because of the nationwide lockdown, reports The Telegraph.

Muslim men carry the bier of elderly Hindu woman for cremation. (Photo credit – Dilower Hussain)

“Her family members, comprising her son, daughter-in-law and small grandson, informed their relatives but they expressed their inability to attend the last rites because of the lockdown,” local leader and All Assam Minority Students Union (AAMSU) organising secretary Dilower Hussain said.

Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday shared The New Indian Express story on Twitter and also mentioned the last rites of a Hindu woman done by local Muslims.

“In the same town, Muslim men carried the body of a Hindu woman for cremation ground when her relatives could not reach due to lockdown. This is our India. These are our values. This is Indianness. Let us strengthen this tradition,” said the Vice President.