Two Haj pilgrims from Bengaluru die in Mecca | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Two Haj pilgrims from Bengaluru die in Mecca

By, Bengaluru
Jun 21, 2024 09:06 AM IST

Two Haj pilgrims from Bengaluru died from extreme temperatures in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, according to officials in Saudi Arabia

Two Haj pilgrims from Bengaluru died from extreme temperatures in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, according to officials in Saudi Arabia.

Muslim pilgrims walk with umbrellas on the third day of the Satan stoning ritual, amid extremely hot weather, during the annual haj pilgrimage in Mina. (REUTERS)
Muslim pilgrims walk with umbrellas on the third day of the Satan stoning ritual, amid extremely hot weather, during the annual haj pilgrimage in Mina. (REUTERS)

Kausar Ruksana (69) from RT Nagar and Mohammed Ilyas (51) from Frazer Town lost their lives during the Haj pilgrimage amid a heatwave that has claimed hundreds of lives, including 68 Indians, according to Saudi officials.

The incident occurred approximately 8km southeast of Mecca, as the pilgrims were performing the ritual of stoning the devil on June 17. “They collapsed due to the heat and high temperatures while walking about 50m towards Mecca to complete the ritual,” explained Sarfaraz Khan Sardar, executive officer of the Karnataka State Haj Committee.

With temperatures soaring to 52 degree Celsius in Mecca this season, Saudi authorities had issued warnings against outdoor activities from 9am to 4pm. Despite precautions, the heatwave has proven deadly for many pilgrims.

The pilgrims, part of a group staying in tents, had opted to walk five kilometres due to unavailability of public transport as all buses were reportedly full. “They were in good health and accompanied by their spouses under the leadership of Khadims,” Sarfaraz Khan Sardar said.

The officer confirmed that the last rites of the deceased will take place in Saudi Arabia.

Around 7,000 pilgrims had travelled from Bengaluru under the auspices of the Karnataka State Haj Committee this year, with the total number of Haj pilgrims from the state exceeding 10,500, excluding those under private tour operators.

State minority affairs minister Rahim Khan condoled the deaths and pledged government support. “This incident, with such a high number of casualties, is unprecedented in Saudi Arabia. We are in touch with external affairs ministry (EAM) officers to facilitate the return of their bodies,” he stated.

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