Over 2 million Muslims arrive in Mecca for Hajj

Two million Muslims from around the globe have touched base in Mecca for the hajj journey. Two years after a stampede killed more than 2,000 admirers. Shia Muslims from Iran came back to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, after the greatest disaster in years.

A year ago almost 2,300 devotees along with 464 Iranis were among those killed in the stampede, prompting authorities in Tehran to condemn how Saudi Arabia organized the journey.

Despite the tension between the countries neither Iran nor its Sunni provincial adversaries want to drag this rift.The current year’s hajj journey likewise comes when the Gulf is soiled by a political emergency and ISIS keeps on battling in Iraq and Syria.

A blacklist forced on the little yet gas-rich emirate since June 5 has brought about Qatar’s territory, ocean and air to be gravely influenced.

This has likewise had a thump on the impact of hajj-related travel, in spite of the fact that Riyadh declared it was unwinding sure confinements for explorers.

Sourced from The Telegraph and The Economic Times

Electronic Bracelets for Hajj Pilgrims to avoid another 2015 Stampede

The deadly 2015 stampede which lead to the death of thousands of Hajj pilgrims has by far been the world’s largest Islamic gathering on record. In the hopes to avoid another such situation coming September, the officials have decided to issue electronic bracelets to the millions of pilgrims expected to visit the holy sites at Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

The bracelets are expected to be two centimetres wide, water-resistant and are GPS-linked consisting of personal information and medical records that the Saudi officials and security forces could easily access via smart phones. Different colour bracelets would be issued to people from different countries, pilgrims from Arab countries will be issued green coloured bracelets, mauve coloured for African pilgrims and so on. Personal information for each pilgrim will include their passport numbers and addresses. Moreover, 1,000 new surveillance cameras have been installed to keep a check on the pilgrims as they walk along the pilgrimage routes and the crowd inside holy sites, reports BBC news.

According to Al Arabiya News, the bracelets are not for the sole purpose of identification but it also provides guidance with prayer timings, pilgrimage steps guidance, language help for the non-Arabic speakers and a compass to show pilgrims which direction to face while praying.

Hajj Stampede: 14 Indians among 717 killed

Picture Courtesy: News957
Picture Courtesy: News957


External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday tweeted, “Our Consul General Jeddah reports loss of 14 Indian lives in stampede. We have 13 injured in hospital.” This comes in the wake of Haj stampede that killed 717 and injured 863 on Thursday. The incident took place at Mina, a place located few kilometres to the east of Mecca at 9 am (local time). According to a Saudi civil defence official, two large groups of pilgrims arrived together at a crossroads near Jamarat, where they perform the “stoning of the devil” ritual on Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice), Islam’s most important feast.

This is the second major tragedy this month at Mecca, after September 18, when a construction crane crashed on the Grand Mosque, Islam’s holiest site, where over 100 people were killed. It is also the second worst disaster to occur during the pilgrimage since July 1990, when 1,426 people suffocated in a tunnel near Mecca.

Saudi King Salman offered his condolences and said that he had ordered a review of the plans after the disaster. “We have instructed concerned authorities to review the operations plan … (and) to raise the level of organisation and management to ensure that the guests of God perform their rituals in comfort and ease,” he added.


Read More at: http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/09/25/saudi-haj-casualties-idINKCN0RO0RE20150925