AN ANALYTICAL OVERVIEW OF STAMPEDE AT JAMARAT SITE --- ROOT CAUSES & POSIBBLE SOLUTIONS
Abstract in English:
Stoning the Devil-Posts at Jamarat (Rami Jamar) with pebbles is an obligatory requisite for the completion of rituals of the Pilgrimage (Hajj). Rami Jamar, being one of the Pillars of Hajj, can not be avoided or postponed. During the last Hajj season a deadly episode had occurred at the site of Jamarat which has drawn the attention of many sincere Muslims to review the root-causes and find out some solution to avoid reoccurrence of such a mishap.
In this paper various causes of the above fatal episode have been critically reviewed and numerous remedial actions have been suggested that might be taken to avoid such scenario in future. The main points discussed in this paper are: the operational plans and efficient management of controlling accidents, chaos and crisis; application of Information Technology in monitoring and mobilizing huge crowds; providing proper guidance and instant information/instructions to the Pilgrims (Hujjaj); highlighting the need of promoting awareness and proper guidance, its important and effective role in the disciplined movement of mob in a confined area in a limited time. The social and psychological behavior of human beings trapped amidst heavy crowds, and the engineering-designs of Jamarat site have also been reviewed and discussed briefly in this paper.
In the perspective of Hajj and Umrah, few additional things concerning the usually seen dashing crowd at the site of Black-Stone (Hajr Aswad) in the Sacred Mosque (Haram) for kissing it have also been suggested.
It is absolutely not claimed that the observations/suggestions made in this paper with regards to the happenings at Jamarat site would make any significant and immediate difference until the entire set-up is overhauled. But this humble effort, made in good faith, can most probably assist the concerned Saudi authorities in saving the precious lives of many innocent people coming to the Holy land for performing Hajj; and likewise minimize and/or control overcrowding while kissing Hajr Aswad.