Pilgrims From India May Again Miss Out On Haj

HYDERABAD: Indians looking forward to performing the Haj this year might be in for a disappointment again as there is no official word yet on whether the annual pilgrimage to Islam’s holiest place is on.

It may be recalled that last year, the pilgrimage was scrapped because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year too, with continuing fears of the pandemic, Saudi authorities have banned arrivals from 20 nations till May 17, including those from India.

Every year, some two lakh Indians travel to Macca to perform the Haj, but this year, pilgrims are waiting for a call from the Haj Committee for completing pre-selection formalities.

There is also uncertainty over the February 10 meeting between Indian diplomats and Saudi authorities to finalise the Haj pilgrims’ quota for this year and arriving at a mutual agreement.

A source in the State Haj Committee said chances of allotment of quota looks bleak with the pilgrimage dates drawing near.

The Haj is scheduled for July this year. Officials in the Haj Committee believe that even if Saudi government allows Indians, it is likely that the quota will be reduced.

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