WhatsApp Group Join Now
Telegram Group Join Now

Kashmir’s Banker Couple Among Nine Dead During Hajj

The Hajj pilgrimage of 2024 has turned into a heartbreaking tragedy for Kashmir, as nine individuals from the region have been reported dead. Among the deceased are Manzoor Ahmad Rangrez and his wife, Rifat, both esteemed bankers from Rawalpora. The couple’s deaths have cast a pall of grief over their community and the wider region. The Jammu and Kashmir Haj Committee confirmed their untimely demise, adding to the sorrow with news that two more pilgrims from the area are currently missing.

Manzoor Ahmad Rangrez, a retired bank officer aged 62, and his wife Rifat, aged 57, who was actively working at the Nowgam branch, had dedicated their lives to public service. Their commitment extended beyond their professional lives into their community, where they were well-respected and cherished. Tragically, their pilgrimage, a deeply spiritual journey, ended in their untimely deaths due to heatstroke. This incident occurred during the intense religious activities of the 9th of Zilhaj, a period known for its demanding rituals and harsh climatic conditions.

The extreme summer heat in Saudi Arabia poses significant risks to pilgrims, and it appears that this year, the dangers were particularly pronounced. Despite the known risks, the necessary precautions and responses seem to have been lacking. Reports from various sources indicate that issues with transportation and healthcare exacerbated the situation, leading to tragic outcomes. The pilgrims’ accounts, shared via phone calls and circulating videos on social media, paint a grim picture of neglect and failure.

The deaths of Manzoor Ahmad Rangrez and his wife Rifat have left their two sons in deep mourning. The couple’s passing has sent shockwaves through their neighborhood in Rawalpora. Friends and acquaintances remember them as dedicated individuals who always prioritized the well-being of others. Their absence will be deeply felt, not only by their family but by the entire community they served so diligently.

The broader implications of this tragedy highlight significant concerns about the management of the Hajj pilgrimage. Despite the vast number of pilgrims attending each year, this incident underscores the persistent challenges in ensuring their safety and well-being. The lack of responsiveness from the host managers and the Saudi government, as reported by the pilgrims, calls for a critical review of the current systems in place. The reported failures in transportation and healthcare provision need urgent attention to prevent such tragedies in the future.

This incident has sparked widespread outrage and calls for accountability. The families of the deceased, along with the larger Kashmiri community, are demanding answers and assurances that such neglect will not be repeated. The Hajj is meant to be a sacred and fulfilling journey, not one fraught with danger and neglect. It is imperative that lessons are learned from this tragedy to safeguard future pilgrims.

The memories of Manzoor Ahmad Rangrez and Rifat will be cherished by all who knew them. Their lives were marked by service and devotion, both in their professional roles and within their community. As their loved ones come to terms with this loss, the hope is that their story will lead to positive changes in the management of the Hajj pilgrimage, ensuring that future pilgrims can undertake this sacred journey with greater safety and security.

In this time of mourning, the solidarity of the community becomes even more vital. Support for the bereaved families and a collective call for improved conditions during the Hajj can help honor the memory of those lost. As the region grieves, there is also a determination to see that these tragedies are not repeated, and that every pilgrim can fulfill their spiritual duties without fear for their safety.

Back to top button