MECCA: A tragedy struck an Indian family when Niyazul Haq Mansoori, a volunteer serving Haj pilgrims, lost his life along with his parents during the grisly stampede at Mina.
An engineer by profession, Mansoori had come from Yanbu city in Saudi Arabia to join the 950-member volunteer team of India Fraternity Forum (IFF) to assist local authorities in the conduct of Haj pilgrimage. Mansoori was among the first Indian victims of the stampede to be identified while his parents -- Mansurul Haq and Nasima Khatoon -- were listed among the missing.
Both were identified today at the mortuary by their another son who arrived here from Yanbu following the tragedy that killed 769 people, the worst to hit the pilgrimage in 25 years.
The family had come from Jharkhand to perform Haj. Mansoori was a mechanical engineer at a private company in Yanbu, and he is survived by his wife and three daughters. It was IFF volunteers who identified the body of Haq' wearing the jacket and ID of IFF, while they were assisting the security personnel and the rescue team in removing dead bodies from the stampede scene, and transfer the injured pilgrims to hospitals, Abdul Ghani, who is in charge of IFF’s Hajj Service Operation, was quoted as saying by Saudi Gazette.
"Mansoori, who joined our team in Mina at 2 am Thursday, was engaged in serving the pilgrims on Street 204 where the tragedy occurred as the heavy influx of pilgrims to and from between the Jamarat and the tents to perform the first day’s ritual of stoning turned into overcrowding and ended up in a stampede," Ghani said.
He said Mansoori's body has been moved to the mortuary and necessary formalities for burial in Makkah are being processed by IFF members along with his younger brother. Jasfar Muzhappilangad, another IFF volunteer, was one among those who were allowed to take part in the rescue operation immediately after the stampede.
"The security forces allowed the volunteers in their uniform to assist in rescue operation and hence we helped moving scores of dead bodies and helping to take the injured to nearby hospitals," he said.