When Haj pilgrimage turned a tragedy

Among the 18 Indians who lost their lives in the Haj stampede, 2 were from Tamil Nadu.

Updated - November 16, 2021 04:11 pm IST

Published - September 26, 2015 12:00 am IST

P. Kumar, MP, with relatives of Remi Jan who died in the stampede. (Right) E. Samsudeen, another victim. -Photo: A.Muralitharan

P. Kumar, MP, with relatives of Remi Jan who died in the stampede. (Right) E. Samsudeen, another victim. -Photo: A.Muralitharan

Two Haj pilgrims, a 51-year-old woman from Tiruchi and a 71-year-old man of Vadakarai near Mayiladuthurai, were among those killed in the stampede at Mina near Mecca.

E. Samsudeen and his wife Samsadh Begum, residents of Vadakarai, had left for Jeddah for the pilgrimage, from Chennai on September 5. As per the plan, the couple were scheduled to return on October 13, family sources said.

Tragedy struck Samsudeen when he was caught in the stampede on Thursday morning while performing the ritual of ‘stoning the devil’ as part of the pilgrimage.

“We came to know of the tragedy through television channels,” said Shahir Mohamed, the victim’s son. Upon hearing the news, Shahir called up his mother over phone on Thursday evening when she informed that his father was among the dead.

“We feel very disturbed that the tragedy has befallen when my father had gone for a holy pilgrimage,” said Shahir, choking and unable to speak further.

Remi Jan of Tiruchi had gone on the pilgrimage along with her husband Mohamed Amanullah, daughter Nisha, and son-in-law Amanullah.

They had left Tiruchi on September 1 and were to return on October 12. Family members said that prior to leaving for Mecca, they had attended an orientation programme organised by the Haj Committee at Chennai connected with the pilgrimage, travel formalities, religious rites and rituals besides the rules and regulations in Saudi Arabia.

The relatives here received information on Thursday evening about the death of the pilgrims . However, it took time to verify and confirm the death of Remi Jan, they said. The bodies are expected to be buried in Saudi Arabia.

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and Governor K. Rosaiah expressed condolences to the families of the victims .

Meanwhile, Prince of Arcot Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali, in his statement from Mecca, has said that all the Haj pilgrims from Tamil Nadu who are staying at the Arcot Wakf Building in the holy city were safe, after the tragic deaths in the stampede incident at Mina.

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