4 Indians killed, 2 injured in Haj stampede
Four Indians were killed and two were injured in the tragedy, Indian Consulate officials in Jeddah said on Thursday.Among the Indians killed was a Keralite, Mohammed from Kodungaloor in Thrissur district, Kerala’s Rural Development and Non Resident Keralite Affairs Minister K.C. Joseph said in Thiruvananthapuram. A woman from the State was among those injured, he added.
A woman pilgrim from Hyderabad identified as Bibi Jaan was also killed in the stampede, said S.A. Shukoor, special officer of Telangana State Haj Committee. Jaan had gone on the pilgrimage with her husband and two other relatives on September 2. She died at a hospital in Mina, he said.
Two Indians from Assam were among the injured and have been admitted to hospital.Munis Ahmed Ansari of the Haj Committee of India said more than 1.5 lakh Indian pilgrims went for the Haj this time.
He said compared to other countries, India traditionally reserved a large number of seats for elderly citizens, which added to the worry of the organisers.
“This year too, almost 80,000 of the 1.5-lakh pilgrims are above 70. So naturally a lot of people back home are worried about the condition of the pilgrims from India,” he said.
The External Affairs Ministry has provided emergency numbers in Mecca for the family members: ph: 00966125458000 and 00966125496000.
A toll-free number for pilgrims is ph: 8002477786.
At least 717 people including four Indians were killed and more than 800 injured in a stampede Thursday on the outskirts of Mecca, reports quoting Saudi civil defence officials said.
(With inputs from PTI)&Thehindu