New Delhi : President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other top leaders of the country on Thursday condoled the deaths in a horrific Hajj stampede in Saudi Arabia.
“Deeply saddened by tragic incident at Mina on Thursday, during which a large number of Hajj pilgrims lost their lives,” the president tweeted. “My sincere condolences to the government of Saudi Arabia and families of the deceased pilgrims. I also wish speedy recovery to injured,” he said.
Ansari, in a message to Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Nayef, said: “We deeply mourn this tragedy and extend our heartfelt condolences to you and to the people of the Saudi Arabia.
“We express our solemn thoughts and pray in this hour of grief for the departed souls.”
Modi, in his message from the US, said: “Distressing news from Mecca. Pained at loss of lives due to the stampede. Condolences to families of the deceased and prayers with the injured.”
Finance Minister Aurn Jaitley and Congress president Sonia Gandhi also mourned the deaths.
“My condolences to the families who lost their dear ones today (Thursday) in an unfortunate stampede during Hajj. May the departed souls rest in peace,” Jaitley wrote on his Twitter-handle.
The Congress president said she prayed for the well being of the pilgrims and hoped that the Indian citizens in Mina were safe.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia on Thursday ordered an investigation into the stampede. According to Xinhua, the Saudi interior ministry said the incident was dealt with plans, but the procedures to deal with the performing of the ritual will be reviewed to overcome such mishaps in the coming years.
The accident took place during a ritual of throwing pebbles at one of the three walls representing Satan, the symbolic “stoning of the devil”. The ministry said the incident was initially triggered by pilgrims moving in opposite directions.
“We will be investigating the incident as it happened in a narrow road that isn’t usually used by pilgrims, as it is closed to the camping areas in Mina,” a ministry spokesperson said, adding that the high temperature may also be an additional reason. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif bin Abdulaziz has ordered a thorough investigation and promised that the actual reasons will be announced shortly.