The city of brotherhood sets one more example; Muslim youths perform last rites of Hindu woman

Bhubaneswar: At a time when religious strife is taking its toll on several countries and societies across the Globe, people from the Muslim community in Odisha’s Cuttack city have performed the last rites of a Hindu woman.

Sita Dei, a resident of Kesharpur-Gamandia area in the Silver City, breathed her last today. She was eking out a livelihood by opening a small tea stall in the locality, sources said.

Some people from the Muslim community came forward to perform Sita Dei’s last rites as she did not have any close relatives to do so.

Members of the minority community carried Sita Dei’s body on their shoulders to a nearby cremation ground amid chanting of ‘Ram Naam Satya Hai’ and lit the funeral pyre as per the Hindu tradition. Even a few women from the minority community also participated in the funeral procession, sources added.

“Sita Dei was staying in our locality for the last three decades. She was running a small tea stall. She was like a family member to us. She breathed her last today. We performed her last rites as per the Hindu tradition. Cuttack is known as the city of brotherhood. We respect each and every religious belief here,” said SK Wajid, a local.

Mumtaz Ali Sona, another local, said people from both Hindu and Muslim communities used to gather at the tea stall of Sita Dei. In her death, the locals lost one of their elder sisters, he added.

“Sita Dei was like my sister. She was serving tea to the locals irrespective of their religious beliefs. In her death, we lost one of our family members,” he added.

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