J&K Hindu vil­lage elects lone Mus­lim as panch

VIL­LAGERS SET EX­AM­PLE OF COM­MU­NAL HAR­MONY DUR­ING RU­RAL POLLS

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - INDI - Ish­faq-ul-Has­san

Srinagar: When the coun­try is reel­ing through com­mu­nal ha­tred, a small vil­lage from Jammu and Kash­mir set an ex­am­ple of com­mu­nal har­mony! A Hindu-dom­i­nated vil­lage in Doda unan­i­mously elected the lone Mus­lim vil­lager as their Panch.

Chowd­hary Mo­ham­mad Hus­sain, 54, was elected un­op­posed as the panch of Bhe­lan-Kharothi vil­lage in the Hanga Pan­chayat of Bader­wah block in the sev­enth phase of Pan­chayat polls on De­cem­ber 4.

With a pop­u­la­tion of 450 peo­ple, Chowd­hary fam­ily is the only Mus­lim house­hold in the vil­lage. When pan­chayat elec­tions were an­nounced, vil­lagers held a meeting and de­cided to field Chowd­hary as a unan­i­mous can­di­date of the vil­lage for Panch seat.

“I am orig­i­nally from Jo­raPun­thal, 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.

This vil­lage has been the epit­ome of com­mu­nal har­mony in the state. When Chowd­hary’s daugh­ters were get­ting mar­ried, it was his Hindu neigh­bours who over­saw the ar­range­ments.

For the vil­lagers, Chowd­hary’s elec­tion is a message of com­mu­nal har­mony.

“Chowd­hary has been liv­ing with us for the last 15 years and he has proved his met­tle as a doer. Since he is the only Mus­lim here, we felt that he should be our unan­i­mous can­di­date so that he does not feel alone,” said Duni Chand, a vil­lager who is a Tehsil­dar of Bela Tehsil.

Vot­ers wait to cast votes in J&K; (in­set) Chowd­hary Mo­ham­mad Hus­sain

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