Muslims join Hindu yagna for peace in Kashmir
2 June 2002
The Indian Express
Jammu: Scores of Muslims have been converging for the last two days on the Dadonian forests of Latti — where even the brave fear to tread — to join their Hindu brethren in performing a yagna for restoration of peace in Kashmir. ‘‘We are ready to pay any price for peace,’’ says a confident Moulvi Barkat Ali when asked whether he did not fear militants’ wrath for taking part in Hindu functions. But this is not the first time that hundreds from both communities have gathered in the forest — a hub of militancy — to organise the havan. ‘‘It started in 1999 during the Kargil war. We organised a havan praying that the conflict shouldn’t break into a full-fledged war,’’ says Salam Mohammad, a Latti resident. And when it ended, their belief in the havan only strengthened. With tension again flaring up at the borders in recent days, the people of this remote and grubby hamlet have once again started converging on the forests to pray for peace. ‘‘These prayers will not only help us wipe out militancy from the state but also clear the war clouds hovering over our skies,’’ says another resident.