MALAPPURAM: Once our loved ones are buried, most of us want their mortal remains to remain there forever. However, Muslim families in Palapetty have allowed the Palapetty mahal committee to relocate the graves of their loved ones at Badar Juma Masjid. The people experienced very emotional moments while relocating the graves last Saturday and Sunday, said Thekkepurath Abdul Razak, general secretary of the committee.
“As many as 314 graves had to be shifted from the eastern side of the mosque to the western side. Of them, around 100 bodies were shifted to the graves of their relatives on the western side. The rest were reburied in new graves. The bodies belonged to people aged between 15 and 80,” Abdul Razak said.
Though they had initially opposed the NH widening, the residents later allowed the development project. The initial works started recently. “People did not want to relocate the graves initially. They also protested against the NH development. Later, they realised that they did not want to be stamped as a group that opposes the development of the country. The mahal committee convened a meeting of the residents and decided to give up 42 cents of land under the mosque for the highway development. We hope the government distributes the compensation amount soon,” Razak said.
A group of 30 youngsters with the Darul Akhira Mayyath Paripalana Committee shifted the bodies. “We shifted decomposed body parts of the deceased to new graves with the help of their relatives. In a reburial, we should follow the same procedures as the first burial. Mosque officials conducted prayers and we covered the body parts in new white clothes before placing them in the new graves,” said Navas Palapetty, a member of the group, which is famous for charity services. It had helped several families bury their loved ones who died of Covid.
Musthafa T H, a member of Perumbadappa panchayat, said the sacrifice of the people in Palapetty will be remembered forever. “People should cooperate with such genuine infrastructure development projects,” he said. Prem Kumar, a native of Malappuram who first posted comments on the incident on social media, said it proved that people in Kerala would not fall into the trap of communalism. “The people gave up the land where their loved ones were buried. People from other communities will also benefit from their decision. It is heartwarming to see people joining the governments in development projects in such a way,” he said.