NEW DELHI: As Saudi authorities issue photos of the deceased to ascertain identities, the toll of Indians in the horrific Mina stampede climbs up steadily, with 46 confirmed dead five days after the tragedy, which claimed hundreds of lives.
India’s Haj mission updated its list of dead to 46 as per its revision at 10 pm Monday night. It added four new names, but retracted three.
So far, nearly one-third of the Indian victims are from Gujarat, with 15 listed as residents of the western state. There are six fatalities from Kerala while Tamil Nadu accounted for three and Telangana one.
There are 50 Indian pilgrims being treated at various Saudi hospitals.
Most of the deceased have been confirmed through photographs by relatives who have started to arrive in Saudi Arabia from India. Two teams from India’s Haj mission have been posted at the Moassim mortuary in Mecca, to help relatives in identifying the dead and performing last rites. A control room has also been set up in Mecca, with the Indian consul general B S Mubarak monitoring on site.
Earlier on Sunday, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had given a hint of the extent of the tragedy, when she tweeted that Saudi authorities had given 1090 photos to confirm identity. At the same time, the Saudi official toll is still below 800.
The list of missing is still long. Shaikh Junaid posted on Haj Mission’s facebook post about two relatives from Baroda. From Kolkata, Rahman Ziaur posted about a missing family. “Today is the 5th Day. All 3 went for haj missing since after the mina incident. We have no communication with any of the 3 person soon after the incident. Please help us,” he wrote.
This is the second deadly accident to mar this haj after the crane collapse at the Grand Mosque in Mecca.