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Poignant scenes in Bhopal as first batch of 245 Hajis leaves for Makkah

Friday October 21, 2011 08:44:33 AM, Pervez Bari,

Bhopal: Poignant scenes were witnessed as the first batch of 245 Hajj pilgrims from Madhya Pradesh boarded the buses at the transit camp in the premises of the historic Taj-ul-Masajid on their way to Raja Bhoj International airport to embark for their lifetime cherished dream to perform Hajj.

The first flight carrying the Hajj pilgrims took off from the airport over three hours behind schedule at about 3.30 pm. The flight was delayed due to late arrival of the aero plane from Ras al-Khaima, one of the emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), in the east of the Persian Gulf, due to sandstorm, it is said.

Some of the Hajj pilgrims and their near and dear ones became nearly hysterical while they hugged and kissed each other with tears rolling down their cheeks as they departed to board the buses at the transit camp for the airport. The men-folk in raised voices while women in lower decibels chanted the Talbiyah: “Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik. Labbaik, La Shareek Laka, Labbaik Innal Hamdah, Wan Nematah, Laka wal Mulk, La Shareek Laka Labbaik” (Here I am at thy service O Lord, here I am. Here I am at thy service and thou hast no partners) as they moved towards the buses parked at a distance within the precincts of the transit camp.

The air at Taj-ul-Masajid complex with spiritual fervour and reverted with the Talbiyah as the whole scene became quite emotional with tears welling up in eyes of one and all who came to see off the Hajj pilgrims.

Madhya Pradesh Minorities Welfare Minister Ajay Vishnoi and former Chief Minister & Bhopal Member of Parliament Kailash Joshi reached the airport to send off the pilgrims but due to delay of flight returned without flagging off the flight. However, they met the pilgrims at the airport. Vishnoi wished a happy journey to Hajj pilgrims by presenting bouquets to them and urged them to pray for peace and prosperity. Principal Secretary Backward Class and Minorities Welfare Anil Shrivastava, Madhya Pradesh State Hajj Committee, (MPSHC), Chairman and Executive Officer Dr. Sanawwar Patel and Mr. Dawood Ahmed Khan respectively, were also present on the occasion amongst others.

Speaking to the Hajj pilgrims on the occasion, Vishnoi said that the arrangements of direct flights for Hajj pilgrims, which have been made available from Bhopal and Indore, have been lauded in a letter by the Saudi Arabian government. He said that even the Union Government is lauding the welfare works undertaken in the state under the guidance of Chief Minister Mr. Shivraj Singh Chouhan. From time to time, the Union Government has praised the works being undertaken for minorities' welfare in Madhya Pradesh and has written to other states to emulate Madhya Pradesh, he added.

Vishnoi informed that two acres of land have been identified for construction of Hajj House. He hoped that the process constructing will start by next year.

Meanwhile, state Chief Minister Chouhan could not reach the Hajj pilgrims transit point at Taj-ul-Masajid to send off the pilgrims due to his busy schedule. It was for the second consecutive year that he failed in reaching to the Hajj pilgrims on the occasion.

However, Maulana Peer Muhammad Saeed Miyan Mujaddadi, Rector of Dar-ul-Uloom Taj-ul-Masajid, blessed the pilgrims. As the busses rolled out of the transit camp MPSHC chairman Dr. Sanawwar Patel was in the vanguard sitting in chauffer driven car.

It may be recalled here that last year, though he reached to receive the pilgrims on their return but his absence was conspicuous from the scene at the time of departure of the pilgrims. This time round not only the Chief Minister but the Muslim leaders of his Bharatiya Janata Party, (BJP), were also suspiciously absent from the scene. Prominent Muslim BJP leaders who missed the occasion included state minorities cell president Mr. Hidayatullah Sheikh and Madhya Pradesh State Minorities Commission Chairman Anwar Mohammed Khan.

Meanwhile, Congress dominance was witnessed at the airport to see off the pilgrims as scores of Congress leaders from the State capital including Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee, (MPCC), media committee chairman Manak Agarwal, Bhopal District Congress Committee president and former legislator PC Sharma, MPCC secretary Nasir Islam, leader of Opposition in the Bhopal Municipal Corporation Sagheer Ahmed, Corporators Rehan Ahmed and Syed Shahid Ali were especially present to see off the pilgrims at the airport on the occasion.

According to Executive Officer awood Khan out of the total 245 pilgrims who left on the flight on Wednesday, 232 were from Bhopal, two from Jabalpur, and five each from Morena and Rajgarh.

The senior most pilgrim, who boarded the flight on Wednesday was 100-year-old Saghira Begum, wife of Mehboob of Morena, while the youngest pilgrim was three-year-old Aquib Ali Khan, son of Ali Khan from Bhopal. A total of 4,410 pilgrims from the Madhya Pradesh would embark on Hajj journey this year through the MPSHC, of these 2,205 would go from Bhopal and a similar number from Indore. A total of 18 flights nine each from Bhopal and Indore will ferry the pilgrims to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia till October 30.









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