SRINAGAR: With no confirmed information, regarding the number of deaths and missing persons in Mina stampede the State Hajj Committee is still clueless even after passage of nine days of the tragedy.
The family members of the missing pilgrims are in distress and are making frantic searches for their loved ones with authorities tossing them from one end to other.
It appears that political appointees at the helm of State Hajj Committee dont know how to handle crisis situation like this said a family member of a missing pilgrim Nisar Ahmad of Bandipore.
I have been desperately trying to get in touch with the state hajj committee helpline numbers but none of them are functional, he said. From the last nine days they (Hajj officials) are telling us we dont have any concrete information, he added.
The statements that the Committee is making are contradictory which add to the distress of the families of the pilgrims.
Executive Officer of the State Hajj Committee, Mohammad Ishaq Shah, who is holding this post as additional charge besides Revenue , said on Thursday, We dont have any authentic information right now as the Consulate General of India in Jeddah has not provided any information regarding Kashmiri pilgrims to us so far. Whatever information we have is from our staff that is in Saudi Arabia right now and they are trying to find out the missing persons.
Shah said as per his reports there are ten deaths of which six are due to natural causes while four died in the Mina stampede. One more died in crane crash at Kaba Sharif earlier. We dont have any authentic information as Hajj committee of India has not provided us with latest information. We are trying our best to get the latest inputs, he said.
Shah said the State Hajj Committee has no access to Saudi officials as according to him they are reluctant to provide any information to Kashmir officials in Makkah. We have contacted Hajj Committee of India to provide us with detailed information of the missing pilgrims. When they will get any information we will let the public know about it.
Right now we dont have any concrete and authentic information.
The contradictory statements that the State Hajj Committee is making not only heightens uncertainty and distress for the relatives of pilgrims but also reflects a sad fact: the Committee , by not being clued onto what is happening , is disconnected from ground realities and is doing a sup par job. It is in times of stress and duress that organizations reveal their mettle, their efficiency and effectiveness but the Hajj Committees dilly dallying, and its contradictory statements and disconnection leaves much to be desired and wanting.
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