When the holy month of Hajj came to end, the pilgrims who visited Saudi Arabia for the performance of Hajj started packing their luggage to go back to their homes. As the Hajjis return to their homeland, the concerned government authorities also go back and take their charge in the main offices which is in Makkah, Jeddah and other cities of Saudi Arabia. According to the locals and informed sources, it was reported in a daily Arabic newspaper, that after the Hajj period ends, the thieves take advantage of the silent places which have no crowd and no rush and start with their stealing practices in an effective manner in fast mode.
Thieves target public properties for stealing valuable stuff in the holy cities. Most likely the targeted places are Arafat and Muzdalifah. The thieves target items which include sewage covers, toilet doors, cables of electricity and many such similar things. Mohammed Ali, who is a Pakistani worker, noticed that before the Hajj season ends, the thieves start planning to steal. When Hajj season finally ends, they all come into action sounding like the thieves have a field day in the holy sites as they are easily able to grab things from Arafat and Muzdalifah. The robberies begin as the Hajj ends and then continue throughout the year. The thieves usually concentrate on places like Arafat and Muzdalifah because these are outspread places with no rush, attention or traffic in the area. The security guards also fail to protect these holy sites throughout the year.
Mostly the robberies are reported at night time as the places are silent, dark and zero traffic in the streets. The worker also added that there were no major thefts reported in Mina which is due to its bounded area. A Saudi resident, Salim Al-Harbe, also raised question towards the concerned security and safety departments to boost up their operations in the holy sites. He stated that as they walked on the streets of the holy sites after the hajj, they noticed that most of the toilets had no more doors.
The doors were attached during the Hajj season. Besides this, they sorted out that most of the electricity cables were missing. Muhammad Mahmoud Al-Qadi who works at the National Water Company (NWC), told that his team continuously installs new taps and sewage covers time to time. Although National Water Company has a maintenance program according to which they work throughout the year. The maintenance program begins as the New Year begins and comes to an end just before the Hajj season. Under their maintenance program, they replace old taps with the new taps and install other new devices in more than 3,000 toilets.
Spokesperson of Makkah Municipality, Osama Zaitouni, also confirmed about the theft operations and quoted that maintenance teams from the municipality of Makkah should perform inspection tours of the holy sites frequently. The municipality of Makkah is trying to establish cooperative communication with the security departments of Saudi Arabia. This will lead to banning on thieves in the holy places soon.
Sources: Saudi Gazette
Hajj and Umrah in Islam
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- 10 Common Mistakes Committed during Hajj and Umrah by Pilgrims