Muslim families in a nondescript village on Agra-Jaipur highway make an unusual wish while offering prayers on Eid – for a common plot of land to bury the dead.
For, the residents of Chahpokhar don’t have a graveyard. Its Muslim households bury the dead in the compounds of their own houses.
As recent as on June 20, when the last death happened in the village that has 30 Muslim families, they had to resort to such a means. Rukhsana breathed her last following a prolonged illness--and had to be buried in the house.
Efforts are on resolve the issue, but to no avail by far. Block development council member Saleem says the matter has been raised with the officials several times.
Sundar Singh, who is the pradhan of the village that has a fifth of its 150 families Muslim, says the revenue department officials do claim land has been earmarked for the graveyard. “But there exists a pond as of now.”
The Muslim households also express inability to move out of Chahpokhar. “No one is prepared to give our houses a good price, as our backyard has buried bodies,” a resident laments.