Hajj 2024: 19 Kashmiri Pilgrims 'Abandoned' In Makkah

(MENAFN- Kashmir Observer) Srinagar-
A group of 19 Hajj pilgrims who
departed from Srinagar on May 16
have alleged gross mismanagement and abandonment by authorities after they were reportedly left unattended in a

The pilgrims,
belonging to
Maktab No. 276 (agency managing the group) said that
they were a part of a group of 322 pilgrims and their initial plan was to fly directly to Madinah from Srinagar. However, to their surprise, they were issued tickets to Jeddah and landed there before being transported to Makkah.


Speaking to Kashmir Observer,
Shafiq Mir, one of the stranded pilgrims, said,
“After a week in
Makkah, the pilgrims requested to be taken to Madinah as planned. However, the agency responsible for managing their group allegedly denied the request, claiming the pilgrims belonged to the wrong Maktab.”

“The authorities informed us that this has happened due to an error that took place at the J&K State Hajj Committee responsible for the assignment of Maktabs,” he added.

According to Shafiq, even after repeated meetings with Indian Haj Office officials in
Makkah, the issue was only resolved on May 28th. The remaining group was transferred to the correct Maktab and taken to Madinah. However, the 19 pilgrims were inexplicably left behind in

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Shafiq further said that the pilgrims' pleas for assistance were ignored, with even the designated Khuddams (guides) abandoning them in
while accompanying the rest of the group to Madinah. Another pilgrim, Syed Shafat, echoed these sentiments, highlighting their numerous attempts to rectify the situation, all in vain.

“We were not taken to Madina for none of our fault and we are currently passing through a traumatic situation,” Shafiq said.

Another pilgrim, Syed Shafat, echoed these sentiments, highlighting their numerous attempts to rectify the situation, all in vain.

“We made all efforts and went from pillar to post to get along with the group to Madinah
but no one came to help us,” Shafat said.

“Promises were made by Hajj committee members in Srinagar that excellent arrangements would be in place for all pilgrims this year. However, the reality on the ground is quite different. Five people are crammed into a small room with inadequate washrooms in Makkah. The accommodation has poor Wi-Fi connectivity and lacks basic facilities like washing machines,” he added.

“We are caught in a pathetic situation and it clearly indicates gross mismanagement from the start, right from our departure from Srinagar. At the eleventh hour, we were informed that we would be going to Jeddah instead of Makkah, causing significant inconvenience and mental distress up to this point.”

The pilgrims said that they went to the Indian Haj Office in Makkah to find 'solution' to their woes but received a“lazy response”
with officials refusing to assist them.

“We have been left on the mercy of Allah.”

Efforts by Kashmir Observer to reach J&K Hajj Committee Chairperson Safina Baig for comment proved unsuccessful despite repeated attempts.

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