A day after the major stampede incident at Mina, on the outskirts of Mecca, that left over 700 people dead including 14 Indians, Punjab’s liaison Mohammad Izrar who is with Punjab Haj pilgrims told The Indian Express that everyone in his team was safe.
“We have been able to contact relatives of the pilgrims and inform them of their well being,” said Izrar.
“I was in my room just 10 to 15 minutes away from the stampede. When they got to know of the stampede, security forces stopped pilgrims for sometime as a precautionary measure.”
“Some of us were scattered in the confusion but thankfully we were able to re-group at one place,” he added.
The pilgrims are expected to return to Punjab in smaller groups with the first to land on October 10.
“The government has made adequate arrangements for the pilgrims to complete the yatra. Yesterday’s incident did rattle us though,” said Izrar.
Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal offered condolences to the relatives of those who died in stampede and prayed for safe return of the Haj pilgrims of India.