80 Haj Pilgrims From India, Pakistan, Bangladesh Die of Illness

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Indian Haj mission volunteers guide pilgrims in Makkah. (AN photo by Ahmed Hashad)
Indian Haj mission volunteers guide pilgrims in Makkah. (AN photo by Ahmed Hashad)

33 INDIANS AMONG PILGRIMS WHO HAVE SUCCUMBED TO VARIOUS DISEASES OR DIED OF OLD AGE SO FAR 

By Irfan Mohammed | Arab News

JEDDAH — Eighty pilgrims from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh have died of illness or from old age until Wednesday.

Some 33 Indian pilgrims have died so far with the majority of them having been buried in Makkah, according to Indian officials. The pilgrim who died aboard a flight on Wednesday was an Indian pilgrim hailing from Maharashtra.

Ghulam Shabbir Hussain, 84, and a resident of Akola in Maharashtra fell sick during the Air India flight and died during the journey.
According to the Pakistan Haj directorate, a total of 25 Pakistani pilgrims have died since the beginning of the Haj season. Among them are two cases of premature births in Makkah.

The Bangladesh Haj mission said that a total of 79,604 pilgrims had arrived in the Kingdom by Wednesday. Of these, 22 pilgrims died with most deaths occurring in Makkah.

A 16-member team of the Bangladesh Haj delegation headed by secretary of the Ministry of Religious Affairs Chowdhury Maryland Babul Hassan has arrived.

Recently, the Kingdom raised concerns about the increase in the number of acutely chronically ill foreign pilgrims who have arrived in the Kingdom endangering the health of fellow pilgrims and taxing the health facilities in the holy cities.

According to a top official in the Health Ministry, many Muslims in different parts of the world strongly believe that death during Haj or in the holy cities will help them attain a place in paradise. This belief leads them to hide some facts of their health history as they are determined to perform the pilgrimage.

“The misconception that dying in the holy cities or during the Haj will swiftly help them attain heaven is one of the leading reasons for the increase in the number of old and chronically ill patients during the annual pilgrimage,” the official said. — c. Arab News

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