98 Indians died during Haj pilgrimage this year, says MEA | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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98 Indians died during Haj pilgrimage this year, says MEA

Jun 21, 2024 05:24 PM IST

MEA Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said these deaths happened on account of natural illness, natural causes, chronic illness, and also old age.

At least 98 Indian citizens have died of natural causes, old age and illness during this year’s Haj pilgrimage that was marked by searing heat and intense high temperatures, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Friday.

Muslim pilgrims use umbrellas to shade themselves from the sun as they arrive at the base of Mount Arafat, also known as Jabal al-Rahma or Mount of Mercy, during the annual hajj pilgrimage on June 15, 2024.(AFP)
Muslim pilgrims use umbrellas to shade themselves from the sun as they arrive at the base of Mount Arafat, also known as Jabal al-Rahma or Mount of Mercy, during the annual hajj pilgrimage on June 15, 2024.(AFP)

Around 1,75,000 Indians performed Haj pilgrimage this year. The fatalities also include four people who were killed in an accident.

“This year, we have 175,000 Indians who have already visited Hajj... So far we have lost 98 of our citizens. These deaths have happened on account of natural illness, natural causes, chronic illness, and also old age,” MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said. "On the day of Arafat, six Indians died. Four Indians died on account of accidents. Last year, the figure of Indians who died in Hajj was 187..."

According to AFP, around 10 countries have reported 1,081 deaths during the pilgrimage, one of the five pillars of Islam that all Muslims with the means must perform at least once.

Also Read | Haj 2024: Pilgrims converge at Mount Arafat for day of intense worship

The haj pilgrimage, whose timing is determined by the lunar Islamic calendar, fell again at a time when Saudi Arabia faces extensive heat.

The total figure includes 658 Egyptians, 183 Indonesians, 68 Jordanians and 58 from Pakistan, reported AFP. Deaths have also been confirmed by Malaysia, Iran, Senegal, Tunisia, Sudan and Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region.

Many of those killed unregistered worshippers who performed the pilgrimage in extreme heat. The group is more vulnerable as, without official permits, they cannot access air-conditioned spaces provided by authorised pilgrims.

Also Read | Two Haj pilgrims from Bengaluru die in Mecca

An Arab diplomat told AFP the main cause of death among Egyptian pilgrims was the heat, which triggered complications related to high blood pressure and other issues.

Egyptian officials were visiting hospitals to obtain information and help Egyptian pilgrims get medical care, the country's foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

Last year various countries reported more than 300 deaths during the hajj, mostly Indonesians.

(Inputs from AFP)

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