Under natural causes, I regret to inform you that not less than 98 Indian citizens have died during this year’s Haj pilgrimage, which has been characterized by heat haj and intense high temperatures, the MEA has stated. Each year, approximately 1,75,000 Indians join the Path of Pilgrimage. In the case of deaths, four of the deaths were recorded to have occurred in an accident.

In a press briefing on Friday, MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said, “This year, we have 175,000 Indians who have already visited Haj,” He said, “So far, we have lost 98 of our citizens. These include due to natural illness, natural causes, chronic illness, and old age. Six Indians died on the day of Arafat, and four Indians died in accidents. Last year, we lost as many as 187 Indians during Haj.

The hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam, is a requirement of the World’s second-largest religion for those Muslims who are capable of performing it and who have sufficient resources, at least in their life span. This year’s timing of haj occurred when KSA summer passed through its hottest period, and the weather conditions posed additional health challenges to the pilgrims.

Writing for AFP, Reuters noted that overall, around ten nations indicated a total of one thousand and eighty-one deaths in the course of the pilgrimage. These people, as per their national affiliation, were the Egyptians lost 658 people while Indonesia lost 183 people, Jordan 68 and 58 Pakistan people. Others reporting deaths were Malaysia, Iran, Senegal, Tunisia, and Sudan, besides Iraq’s self-administering Kurdistan region.

Ample people who died were those who did not possess registration to be worshippers but undertook the journey influencing stringent hot weather. Without lawful permits, these people could not be easily provided with the air-conditioned amenities supplied to the licensed pilgrims; thus, they would be more exposed to the unforgiving weather. An Arab diplomat who did not want to be named told AFP that heat was responsible for the death of most of the Egyptian pilgrims mainly due to their health complications, including hypertension and other health complications.

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