Bareilly: For Muslims, he was Rizwan and for Hindus, Chaman. For his doctors again, this 24-year-old was a mentally-ill patient. On Wednesday evening, the remote locality of Kathghar in Moradabad district was witness to a unique funeral procession when Rizwan alias Chaman died.
Members of both communities were at loggerheads as each side wanted to perform his last rites as per their religion. Finally, the matter reached the local police station, where after a discussion, a novel solution was found – Rizwan alias Chaman was buried but at a Hindu cremation site.
Hundreds had gathered outside their homes to see members of both communities shoulder his bier and take turns to chant “Ram naam satya hai” and “Allahu Akbar” to the Gulab Bari cremation site.
Deputy superintendent of police (DSP), Moradabad, Sudesh Kumar Gupta, said, “The family of one Ram Kishan Saini, resident of Das Sarai locality here, claimed that Rizwan alias Chaman was their son who had gone missing in 2009. They also said that he was found roaming the streets of Asalatpura area, around 3 km from Das Sarai, in 2014. In the meanwhile, Subhan Ali’s family in Asalatpura said they had been taking care of the mentally-ill man for the past five years and had even named him Rizwan.”
A panchayat was subsequently called the same year and it was decided that both families would be taking care of the man. It was also decided that he would be living with each family for 15 days in a month.
“We never had any doubts that he was our brother. He may have lived with Subhan Ali’s family but that does not give them rights over his body,” said Kundan Saini, who claimed to be Chaman’s elder brother.
Meanwhile, Rizwan’s elder sister Shahida said, “They (Sainis) are lying. He was our brother.”
DSP Gupta said, “He was at the Saini’s house when he had suffered a fit. Doctors at the district hospital declared him brought dead. Both families started fighting over the body and it was finally decided that the last rites would also be performed by both sides.”