Kashmir: This village elects lone Muslim as panch

SRINAGAR: Setting an example of communal harmony, a Hindu-dominated village in Jammu and Kashmir’s Doda unanimously elected the lone Muslim villager as their Panch.

According to media reports, 54-year-old Chowdhary Mohammad Hussain, a Gujjar was elected unopposed as the panch of Bhelan-Kharothi village of Hanga Panchayat.

“I am originally from Jora-Punthal, but for the last 15 years I have been putting up here. I bought some land here 15 years ago and have been living here ever since. My family is the only Muslim one living in the village. When elections were announced, they (other villagers) told me to file nomination as unanimous candidate of the village. They (Hindus) have 260 votes and I have only three. I won unopposed from the village,” Chowdhary told DNA.

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With a population of 450 people, Mr Hussain’s family is the only Muslim family that includes his wife, five sons and a daughter-in-law. All his four daughters married off and it was his Hindu neighbours who oversaw the arrangements.

“I have five sons and four daughters. All the four daughters and one son have been married. When my daughters were getting married, fellow villagers were here to take care of the arrangements,” said Chowdhary.

He lives with his wife, five sons and a daughter-in-law and has married off all his four daughters.

In the today’s polarised and communally driven society, Hindu Muslims of this village sharing joy and sorrows together and are living like a one family like a mini-India.