From ferrying victims to hospitals, to spontaneously queuing up for blood donation, the Muslim community in the city was one with its Hindu friends after Tuesday’s stampede at the Chamunda Devi temple.
At least 186 devotees died in the stampede tragedy at Mehrangarh Fort on the first day of the Navratra festival.
The death toll went up to 186 as several families who had refrained from bringing the bodies to hospitals for post-mortem on Monday, reported the deaths at police stations. “ As per records, 186 deaths have been confirmed,” divisional commissioner Jodhpur, Kiran Soni Gupta said.
Muslim youth were seen attending to patients prior to the arrival of family members and queuing up for blood donation. Close to 3.5 lakh of Jodhpur’s 13 lakh population are Muslim.
“We are all creations of Allah who doesn’t differentiate between Hindus and Muslims,’’ said 22-year-old college student Arif Mohammad, one of the first to reach the site with his classmates Raju Khan and Sadiq Khan.
“In solidarity with our Hindu brethren who’ve lost family members,we have decided not to celebrate Eid on Thursday,’’ said Sadiq in a choked voice.
The majority of taxi drivers are Muslim and they did not charge for taking victims to hospitals. “It was our duty. Religion can’t divide us on such a tragic occasion,” said Mohammad Sadiq, a taxi driver.