Nearly 1,850 from AP in Mina, helpline set up

Updated - September 25, 2015 05:51 am IST

Published - September 25, 2015 12:00 am IST - VIJAYAWADA:

It was a last-minute decision that saved the lives of Khaja Abdul Raheem and his family members, who are on Haj pilgrimage from city. Owing to heavy rush, the family postponed their plan to participate in the stoning of the devil at Mina.

“They are safe and are just 5 km from the spot of the stampede. As soon as the news flashed up on TV, I immediately called my parents, and they said they had postponed their visit to Friday,” said Abdul Azeem, his son, a resident of Sanathnagar here.

Mr. Azeem said his parents, along with two other relatives, had left for Haj on September 6 and are expected to return on October 18. Similarly, it was a close shave for Mohd. Khalid and his family members Shamim Akbar and Zytunnissa at Mina on Thursday.

“They messaged us they had left the place about an hour before the incident. Thankfully, they are safe,” said Mohd. Imran. Like them, several pilgrims from city, especially from One Town area, have gone on the Haj pilgrimage this year.

The Haj Committee said nearly 250 pilgrims had gone on pilgrimage from Krishna district.

In all, 1850-odd pilgrims from the State are on pilgrimage from various districts, especially Kurnool, Guntur, Krishna and Kadapa through Haj Committee. There is no clue about those who have travelled with the help of private tour operators.

Those few lucky were able to communicate with their family members at Mina, but majority of them are still unaware about the whereabouts of their family members. Altaf Kondapalli, a resident of Bhavanipuram, says there was no proper response from the Haj Committee, Hyderabad, when he tried to enquire about the safety of his relatives.

Shaik Imam, a resident of Bhavanipuram had been to pilgrimage along with four of his family members on September 6.

“After the stampede news broke out, we tried to contact the Haj Committee, but none answered our phone call. We could breathe easy only when Shaik Imam called us and informed that they were safe at Mina,” says Altaj Kondapalli.

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