Over 550 pilgrims died during Hajj 2024 due to heat-wave

News Network
June 19, 2024

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An alarming rise in the frequency and intensity of heat waves, along with other ill-effects of climate change have plagued the world at large in recent years. The vice-grip of extreme heat has now affected the pilgrims of Hajj -the annual Islamic pilgrimage.

According to reports by news agency AFP, Saudi diplomats have revealed that more than 550 pilgrims lost their lives while doing the hajj this year due to heat-related issues, highlighting the arduous nature of the journey, especially under this sweltering heat.

Among the deceased, at least 323 were Egyptians. One of the diplomats stated, "All of them (the Egyptians) died because of heat" - barring one, who died from injuries sustained in a minor stampede incident due to overcrowding. Egypt's foreign ministry had earlier mentioned that they are in touch with Saudi authorities to look for Egyptians who disappeared en route to Mecca. The overall death toll was derived from the Al-Muaisem hospital morgue in Makkah.

Apart from the Egyptians, about 60 Jordanians have also died during this year's Hajj.

As per data released by concerned Saudi authorities last month, Hajj is becoming more and more impacted by climate change, with temperatures in the pilgrimage area rising by 0.4 degrees Celsius every ten years. The Saudi National Meteorological Center said that temperatures around the Grand Mosque area in Makkah reached a whopping 51.8 degrees Celsius on June 17.

Currently, over 2,000 pilgrims affected by heat exhaustion are being treated by Saudi authorities, officials have said. However, neither have they updated this tally, nor disclosed any information regarding fatalities since Sunday, June 16.

The death toll during Hajj stood at around 240 (mostly from Indonesia) the previous year.

Pilgrims in Mina, outside of Makkah, were seen dousing themselves with water from their bottles, as volunteers provided them with chilled beverages and fast-melting chocolate ice cream to help them cope with the scorching heat.

The authorities have set out advisory guidelines to the pilgrims, urging them to carry umbrellas, stay hydrated, and avoid staying under the sun during the hottest parts of the day.

Many pilgrims have also claimed to have spotted lifeless bodies lying on the side of the road on their way to the Grand Mosque; ambulance services struggled to handle the unprecedented amount of emergency situations, they said.

An estimated 1.8 million pilgrims performed the Hajj this year, with 1.6 million coming from outside Saudi. A huge number of pilgrims seek to complete the Hajj through unofficial means every year because they are unable to afford the heavy expenses required to obtain official Hajj visas.

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News Network
July 12,2024

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New Delhi: In a relief to a Kannada news channel which extensively telecast the sex abuse case involving former JDS MP Prajwal Revanna and his family, the Supreme Court on Friday stayed a Karnataka High Court, stopping broadcast of Power TV on the ground of lack of proper licence.

A bench of Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra said this was nothing but sheer political vendetta.

"We are inclined to protect the freedom of speech and expression. It looks like a plain case of political vendetta and this court would be failing in its duty if it does not protect the petitioner," the bench said.

The court issued notice to the Union government and others on a petition filed by Power TV and others.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Union government, contended it was not borne out from record.

He said the show cause notice of February 9 was related to the channel subletting its uplink and downlinking licence.

The apex court, however, stayed the High Court order till Monday.

It also fixed the matter for hearing on Monday.

The Karnataka High Court had restrained Power TV from carrying out any broadcasting activity till July 9.

Justice S R Krishna Kumar had passed the interim order on June 25, after hearing two petitions filed by senior serving IPS officer Dr B R Ravikanthegowda, and JDS leader and MLC HM Ramesh Gowda and his wife Dr A Ramya Ramesh.

The petitioners claimed despite proceedings already initiated by the central government against the television channel and other private respondents, they continued to broadcast without arranging for the necessary licence renewal.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting stated a show cause notice was issued on a complaint, that the permission for Power TV was valid till October 12, 2021, and its renewal application dated December 30, 2022, was under examination.

The channel and its director Rakesh Shetty have reportedly been at the forefront of campaigns against Janata Dal (Secular) leaders like Prajwal Revanna and Suraj Revanna, who have been accused of sexual assault.

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News Network
July 10,2024

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Mangaluru: BJP leader and Mangaluru City North MLA Bharath Shetty has been booked for his alleged comments against Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Rahul Gandhi, police said on Wednesday.

At a press conference here, Mangaluru City Police Commissioner Anupam Agarwal said that an FIR has been filed by the police in Kavoor police station over the complaint lodged by K Anil, a Congress corporator of the Mangaluru City Corporation.

In the complaint, the Congress corporator alleged that MLA Bharath Shetty had made a provocative statement taking the name of Rahul Gandhi.

Mr Agarwal said an investigation is on.

Meanwhile, Congress party workers and leaders on Wednesday continued their tirade against Mr Shetty over his remarks against their party leader.

At a gathering in Surathkal on Sunday, the BJP MLA, who represents Mangaluru City North had stated that Mr Gandhi should be "arrested inside Parliament and slapped". This statement had gone viral, and Congress leaders and workers expressed their displeasure over it in the media and on social media.

Addressing a press conference, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) Working President Manjunath Bhandary took a dig at the BJP MLA asking, "How will he enter Parliament? Will he carry a weapon to attack the Leader of the Opposition? Is Shetty a terrorist?" He further said, "I am certain that Bharath Shetty cannot even talk straight to a common worker of the Congress party, let alone confront Rahul Gandhi." 

Mr Bhandary attributed the main cause of BJP leaders' and legislators' outburst at Rahul Gandhi to Prime Minister Narendra Modi referring to the Congress leader as 'balak buddhi' (childish). This term must be expunged, he added.

He said that due to the behaviour of BJP MLAs in Dakshina Kannada district in recent days, "we are ashamed to elect MLAs from the coast". He accused the BJP of plotting riots because they "cannot accept the presence of the Congress government in the state".

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coastaldigest.com news network
July 8,2024

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Mangaluru: The community mourns the loss of Assayyid Fazal Haamid Koyamma Thangal Koorath, the Qadhi of Ullal, who passed away on the morning of Monday, July 8, 2024, at Ettikulam in Kerala’s Kannur district.

Fondly known as 'Koorath Thangal', the 65-year-old spiritual leader has left behind a legacy cherished by hundreds of thousands of devoted followers.

Koorath Thangal had been serving as the Qadhi of Ullal since 2014, following the passing of his father, the revered Tajul Ulama Assayyidd Abdurrahman Al Bukhari Thangal, who had served as the Qadhi of Ullal for decades.

In his final moments, Thangal was preparing to embark on a journey to Ullal to attend the foundation stone laying ceremony for a new hostel building for students of Syed Madani Shariat College at the Ullal Syed Madani Dargah premises. Tragically, he succumbed to a sudden cardiac arrest before he could leave his residence.

Arrangements have been made for people to pay their last respects at Ettikulam, Kannur until 2 PM, after which further arrangements will be made in Ullal. His final rites will be performed at Koorath in Kadaba taluk.

The loss of Koorath Thangal is deeply felt, and his memory will be honored by all who were touched by his wisdom and kindness.

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