This Shravan, the city, that is synonymous with the 2013 communal riots, is witnessing signs of change. Among the various temporary camps for kanwarias established along their journey route, are half-a-dozen camps established by Muslims, serving devotees of Lord Shiva with food, comfort and aid.
Under banners of various social organisations like Paigham-e-Insaniyat, Khudai Khidmatgar, secular Front, Paryatan, Samajik Welfare Society, etc, Muslims have stepped up to supply facilities like drugs and food for the pilgrims. Even the Purkazi nagar panchayat chairman Zaheer Faruqi has established a camp for kanwariyas in Purkazi city.
Speaking to DI, Asad Faruqi of Paryatan, who has been serving pilgrims for the last 5 days, said, “Muzaffarnagar’s Muslims respect each faith and wish to unfold a message of affection and peace.”
Paigham-e-Insaniyat has started their camp within the Muslim-majority space Minakshi Chowk. Founder Asif Rahi, who has worked indefatigably to bridge the gap between the 2 communities since the 2013 riots, said, “It’s not a brand new factor. My associate Dilshad Palawan and that i are putting in place kanwar camps for 2decades. however since the riots, we tend to feel a bigger responsibility to bring the communities along.”
Mohit Singh, a kanwariya on his way to delhi after receiving medical treatment for his burned finger at the Khudai Khidmadgar camp, said, “As shortly as I crossed the border between Uttarakhand and uttar pradesh, i waswelcomed by Muslims of Purkazi. Till then, I had a negative image of Muzaffarnagar, particularly since the riots.”
There are similar witness reports of kanwarias being welcomed by Muslims of neighboring Shamli district as well.