Baramulla: Malik Abdul Wahid of Gulabad-Arampora in Sopore, Baramulla district, has been identified as one of the two Kashmiri pilgrims who died in the Mina stampede last week.
More than 1,000 pilgrims died in the stampede, the worst accident in the past quarter of a century.
Wahid’s son Arshid Ahmad told Kashmir Reader, “My father and my mother Masooda Begum went for the pilgrimage on August 17. After the stampede we couldn’t immediately contact them. On 24th September I contacted my mother. She said she was safe but said that father is missing. I tried calling him continually on his mobile phone but he didn’t answer.”
“On September 25, in the evening, a Pakistani pilgrim picked up the phone and said that the owner of the phone is no more. The same day, a cousin of mine who works in Saudi Arabia, identified father’s body. Today (Monday), the Saudi administration informed my mother and she identified father’s body at a hospital,” he added.
Arshid said that 10 days ago, the deceased had spoken to his daughter, who lives in the US.
“He told her ‘I don’t want to return…I want to die here’. The almighty Allah granted his wish,” Arshid said.
Wahid, 70, was a former deputy director prosecution. The family has criticised the Kashmir Hajj Committee for “neither informing us nor offering a word of condolence”.
Hajj and Auqaf minister Abdul Rehman Veeri told Kashmir Reader that J&K nodal officer in Saudi Arabia has confirmed death of Wahid and another Haji, Abdul Salam of Mustafa Colony, HMT Zainakote.