A Hindu couple from Assam, stranded in West Bengal because of the COVID-19 lockdown, found shelter in a Muslim home in the state's Murshidabad district and has been living with them for the past one month.
According to the Bengali daily Aajkal, Mithun Das and Moumita Das of Assam's Goalpara were on their way to Kolkata by road when the sudden enforcement of the lockdown caught them wrong-footed. According to the Bengali daily, the couple were going to Kolkata for Mithun's treatment.
Since the couple neither had money to check into a hotel nor any relatives in the vicinity, they went to Murshidabad's Beldanga block where Mithun had some business contacts.
The couple has since then found shelter in the house of Farooq Abdullah, the nephew of the local panchayat chief. The Abdullahs live in Mollahpara, a Muslim neighborhood.
Afraud they may have outlived their welcome, Mithun and Moumita got in touch with the local Block Development Officer (BDO) recently with a plea to let them travel back to Assam, where the couple's two children are staying with a neighbour. BDO Birupakhyo Mitra promised to facilitate their return, but only after the lockdown is lifted. Mitra also handed over a bag of essentials to Moumita.
Meanwhile, the Abdullahs have told Mithun and Moumita not to worry. "It's only a month. You can stay with us for a year," they have told the couple. Overwhelmed by the generosity, Moumita is at a loss for words. "What can I say," she whispered wiping her tears.