Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Are dead bodies of Mina Stampede victims buried in Mass Graves?

Hajj is one of those five pillars of Islam that embark an important stance of being a pious Muslim and follower of the faith. For all those Muslims who can afford the expenses of the pilgrimage, it becomes compulsory to take the journey. Throughout the first ten days of Dhul Hajj, there is an inflow of Pilgrims from all around the world to do the needful. This time of the year, all the Muslims from around the world stand and march on shoulder to shoulder putting aside all differences, whether of cast or creed. Perhaps for some, they even departed the world together while being in the holy cities of the Kingdom.

Within the period of Hajj, there were two major casualties that occurred, one within Makkah and the other within Mina. Both had affected a crowd of pilgrims, taking lives of thousands altogether out of which many still remained injured and are being treated. The stampede that occurred in Mina perhaps was a major casualty that took up to nearly 750 people within minutes. The outbreak of the stampede can still not be figured, but only the loss of lives is now counted and kept track off.  For all the pilgrims who won’t return back home, their burial and funeral ceremony was conducted in the Kingdom before they were either buried in the Kingdom or sent back home to their country depending on the request of their family.

Since there were a large number of people whose funerals were conducted, the security agencies and other Hajj departments in charge made sure that they take into account DNA sample, pictures and fingerprints before being sent of buried.  The main question remained as why did the government did not carry on with a mass graves for those who passed away? Most of the bodies however were buried in Al Musaiem graveyard, with the government making all the necessary arrangements of the transportation, bathing and other related tasks.

It cannot be easy to accommodate all the victims of the stampede in just one graveyard. Apart from that, most of the relatives would want their demised family member to be buried in their country or city where they can easily visit the grave for washing.  What should be really commended and applauded is the effort that the departments in the Kingdom are taking in ensuring that the bodies reach back to their countries if need be.

Apart from that, they are trying to keep a fresh record of all those people who were involved in the stampede as a reminder that this sort of casualty doesn’t ever occur in the future. It would be wrong to blame the government since the stampede was a result of a small group of pilgrims that lost control and starting running in the opposite direction spreading chaos. All that can be done now is hoped that such an event doesn’t occur ever again. No more families must mourn in the month that is sent as a blessing for Muslims.

Source: Arab News

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