Over 80 Umrah pilgrims from B’luru stranded in Medina

At least 82 Umrah pilgrims from Bengaluru and Davangere have been stranded in Medina for the past one week after their travel agent disappeared with their passports.

Most of the stranded pilgrims are senior citizens, who have paid the Bengaluru-based travel agency from Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000 for their Umrah pilgrimage. A member of the travel agency, Tanveer, who had accompanied the pilgrims from Bengaluru to Mecca on 20 June.

After spending a week in Mecca, the group left to Medina to perform religious obligations on June 26. Since then they have been abandoned at a lodge as their guide left with their passports stating that he would come back with their return tickets.The cheating came to light when the group tried to contact Tanveer, but his mobile phone remained switched off. The group is now stranded at the lodge with no travel documents.

One of the pilgrims, who managed to contact their family members in the city, narrated their ordeal. Their relatives in the city approached the Karnataka Muslims Welfare Association in Medina for help. The pilgrims are from a poor background and had not carried enough money for an emergency like this, a pilgrim’s relative in Bengaluru told DH.

The association is in touch with the officials of Saudi Arabia seeking help for the stranded pilgrims’ return. The officials have assured to help them get their passports.

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