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The three-month long Kashmir unrest may have marred the traditional wedding season but Muslims and Sikhs joined hands to help solemnise the marriage of a Pandit couple in the Valley's Pulwama district, setting an example of communal amity and brotherhood. Aashu Tikoo of Tahab village yesterday married Neeshu Pandita of nearby Loswani village and both the non-migrant families were joined by their Muslim and Sikh neighbours. Their neighbours -- mostly Muslims and Sikhs -- helped the two families in making necessary arrangements like setting up of tents, firewood for the marriage feast, attending to guests including several migrant Pandits relatives. 'Wanwun' (traditional folk songs) saw Muslim women outnumber the relatives of the couple during the marriage ceremony while the men were busy decorating the house of the bride and the bridegroom and later helping clean the premises. South Kashmir has bore the brunt of the unrest which started on July 9 following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces in Kokernag area a day erlier, claiming 84 lives. The unrest has disrupted the normal life across the Valley and the wedding season too got spoiled with majority of the marriages remaining a low-key affair. The bridegroom along with 'baraatis' (wedding party) comprising his Pandit relatives and Muslim friends, reached the house of the bride around forenoon yesterday and spent almost nine hours there before leaving for his home with the bride. He was hosted by the bride's family along with their Muslim and Sikh neighbours in a traditional way despite the prevailing situation. The bonhomie moved the accompanying migrant Pandits who appreciated the gesture of Muslims and Sikhs and quipped, "We feel glad that the mutual bond between different communities is still intact. "We do not feel that we have done anything extraordinary.
They are our own people and it is our duty to help each another. That is what Kashmiriyat is," the Sikhs and Muslims, who were part of the celebrations, said.
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