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No Haj for Indians this year due to corona, announces govt

Saudi Arabia on Monday announced that only "very limited number" of people will be allowed to perform the major Muslim pilgrimage this year.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: June 24, 2020 1:57:36 am
Abdul Saiyad, who was one of the 150 pilgrims supported by the state government for the holy trip, was buried in the holy land itself. Saudi Arabia has never canceled the hajj in the nearly 90 years since the nation’s establishment. (File)

The government on Tuesday announced that this year, no pilgrims from India will travel to Saudi Arabia for Haj.

Addressing a press conference, Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said this move was to honour the decision of the Saudi government because of “serious challenges of the corona pandemic and keeping in mind the health and well-being of the people”.

Naqvi said he received a phone call from Saudi Arabia Haj and Umrah Minister Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten on Monday, who said that pilgrims from India refrain from Haj this year due to the pandemic.

He added that the government had received 2,13,000 applications for this year’s Haj.

“The process to refund the full amount of money deposited by the applicants for Haj has been started immediately without any deduction. The money will be refunded through online DBT mode into bank accounts of the applicants,” Naqvi said. He also said the women who applied to perform Haj without Mehram (male companion) for this year will be allowed to go next year.

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