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Seven more Indian Haj pilgrims dead, toll 29

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Photo credit: indianexpress.com

New Delhi: Seven more Indian Haj pilgrims died in the stampede at Makkah in Saudi Arabia, taking the toll to 29, the Indian mission in Jeddah revealed.

photo credit: www.emirates247.com
photo credit: www.emirates247.com

The Haj Mission in Jeddah put up a list of seven Indian dead pilgrims, which included five from Kerala and one each from Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.

The seven from Kerala were: Faaiz Abdul Muneer Veettil, Amina Beevi Mohammed Shafi Musaliar, Abdul Rahiman Asarithodi, Puthu Veettil Kunhimon and Moinuddin Abdul Kader. The dead from Uttar Pradesh was identified as Anvar Janha, and the one from Jharkhand as Mansurul Haque.

On Saturday, the government announced eight more deaths, and said that with more bodies being identified from among the 769 deaths reported in Thursday’s stampede, the toll could go up.

On Saturday, two Haj pilgrims from Kerala, and two each from Jharkhand and Gujarat, one each from Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh were reported.

Of the list of 14 dead announced on Friday, nine victims were from Gujarat, while two each belonged to Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu and one was from Maharashtra.

(IANS)

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Tech Giant Google Refuses to Remove Controversial Saudi App

Human rights groups such as Amnesty International have also criticised Google and Apple for allowing the app on their platforms

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A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company's offices in Toronto. VOA

Google has refused to pull out a controversial government app from Saudi Arabia which lets men track and control women who travel, saying it does not violate its Play Store policies.

According to a report in the Business Insider on Sunday, the tech giant told the office of California Democrat Representative Jackie Speier, who had called for the removal of the app called “Absher”, that the app does not violate its terms of service.

The US Representatives Speier, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and 11 others have demanded that Apple and Google must both remove the app.

Speier called Google’s response “deeply unsatisfactory”.

“The responses received so far from Apple and Google are deeply unsatisfactory. As of today, the Absher app remains available in both the Apple App store and the Google Play Store even though they can easily remove it,” Speier was quoted as saying.

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks at the Google I/O conference in Mountain View, California.

Apple was yet to announce its decision.

Absher allows Saudi users to access government services and also offers features which allow “Saudi men to grant and rescind travel permission for women and to set up SMS alerts for when women use their passports”.

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An earlier report suggested Saudi men could use the app to control female dependents.

Human rights groups such as Amnesty International have also criticised Google and Apple for allowing the app on their platforms. (IANS)