After 40 years, Pakistani Hindus’ ashes immersed in Ganga

Friday, February 18, 2011

AMRITSAR - Finally, their ashes reached the ultimate destination - the holy river of Ganga - some 1,400 km away and 40 years later.

The ashes of 135 Pakistan-based Hindus who had passed away in the last 40 years arrived in little urns in Hardwar and were immersed by a delegation in the Ganga, a member of the group said Friday.

For many Hindus based in Pakistan, it was the fulfilment of the last wish of their kin that their ashes be immersed in the Ganga - an act of salvation for many Hindus across the world.

Led by Mahant Ram Nath Mishra of Karachi’s Panchmukhi Hanuman temple, a group of 12 Hindu religious workers, without attracting much media and public attention, recently brought to India the 135 urns kept at the temple for over four decades.

The delegation quietly boarded the Samjhauta Express, the peace train between the two countries, and later reached Hardwar in Uttarkhand state.

We had been battling visa and travel restrictions for years to bring the ashes to India for immersion. We got permission to travel to Hardwar only recently. We did not want undue media and public attention. We first reached Hardwar and immersed the ashes, Mishra told reporters Friday while boarding the train back to Pakistan.

Over a hundred more Hindus there want to immerse ashes in the Ganga. Visa restrictions for such emotional things should be relaxed by both countries, he said.

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