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Prime Minister Narendra Modi's hurried announcement of a three-week lockdown to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, has got India's 1.3 billion people reeling with unanticipated circumstances.
In one such incident, several Muslim youths united to cremate and perform the traditional last rites of a Hindu neighbour in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahar district.
73-year-old Ravi Shankar was a resident of Anand Vihar area, a primarily Muslim neighbourhood, and had been battling with cancer for a long time.
On Saturday, March 28, Ravi Shankar succumbed to the disease.
The Muslim neighbours of the family stepped in and decided to help the family with the last rites when the relatives could not turn up due to the lockdown restrictions.
Reportedly, they took out the 'Antim-Yatra' while chanting 'Ram-Nam Satya Hai', and also performed the last rites of Ravi Shankar with proper Hindu rituals.
The neighbours have also assured the Ravi Shankar's family of all possible help during the lockdown period.
"Ravi Shankar was our neighbour and had expired two days back, after which we decided to help his family. All the Muslims from the locality gathered and brought his body for cremation. After all, humanity is above anything else," one of the neighbours, Mohammad Zubair told the media.
Speaking to the media, Shankar's son Pramod said, "All our Muslim neighbours helped us with the last rites, everyone was very supportive. We are four siblings and our two sisters are married while my brother and I are left to take care of the family. I will always remain indebted to my Muslim neighbours who stood by us in this hour of crisis."
The incident was lauded by many after a video of the funeral procession was shared on Twitter.
In Bulandshahr, a man named Ravishankar died. Because of the #COVID fear, none of his relatives came to lift the bier. His Muslim neighbours came,lifted the bier & also chanted "Ram Naam Satya hai" in the funeral procession. pic.twitter.com/g4TLPsxdpH— Zainab Sikander (@zainabsikander) March 29, 2020
Ravi Shankar, resident of Anand Vihar locality in UP's Bulandshahar district died of cancer on Friday. Deceased, hailing from a poor family is survived by wife and four children. Muslim residents in the neighborhood helped the family during funeral procession and cremation. pic.twitter.com/3mgaI1zap3— Piyush Rai (@Benarasiyaa) March 29, 2020
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