August 25, 2019
A group of Muslim villagers in Assam's Kamrup district has
performed the last rites of a Hindu man, who had stayed at a Muslim friend's
residence with his family for over 25 years, officials said on Sunday.
Sixty-five-year-old Rajkumar Gaur used to stay at Saddam
Hussain's residence in Rangia's Khandikar village after the death of his father
rendered him homeless in the 1990s.
After Rajkumar Gaur died on Saturday, Hussain and his
friends pooled money to purchase the items required for a Hindu cremation and
arranged a priest, said Shukur Ali, a resident of Khandikar village.
They also carried his body to the cremation ground and set
fire to the funeral pyre amidst chanting of Vedic chants, Maidul Islam of the
same village said.
Upen Das of a neighbouring Hindu village backed this version
saying the people of Khandikar had asked him for the list of items needed for
Gaur's last rites. Official sources said the administration was not involved in
the cremation but was aware of the incident.
Hussain said he had given shelter to Gaur after he was
forced to vacate the Railway quarters where he was living following the death
of his father who had come to Assam from Uttar Pradesh. "I had built a
dwelling for Rajkumar inside my premises so that he could live with his
family," he said.
Gaur remained a Hindu but used to take part in Muslim
religious and social functions, another villager Majibar Rahman said.
His two daughters were married to Muslims. "The gesture
is in line with the traditional Shankardeb-Azan Fakir communal harmony culture
of Assam," All BTAD Minority Students' Union central secretary Najrul
While Srimanta Sankardeva was a 16th century Hindu polymath
and socio-religious reformer, Azan Fakir was a Muslim preacher from Baghdad who
had come to Sivasagar in Assam and unified the people there.
Earlier this month, Hindu youths from Sivasagar and
Charaideo districts of eastern Assam provided thousands of Muslims from western
Assam, who had gone there for NRC re-verification, with food, water and ORS for
Original Headline: Muslims Cremate Hindu Friend in Assam
village, Perform Last Rites amidst Vedic Chants