Mumbai: Haj Committee of India, the apex body responsible for Hajj operations in India, has decided on Monday to extend the last date of submission of online and manual haj application forms till February 15, 2016.
The decision is taken after requests were made to Central Haj Committee by several State Haj Committees, and other Muslim groups and individuals.
"In view of the representations received from several State Haj Committees, the last date of submission of Haj Application Forms - both online and manual, is hereby extended by a week's time i.e. upto February 15, 2016", the Haj Committee of India announced on its official website.
The Haj Committee of India had initially fixed the closing date of rceiving the Haj Application Forms as Februray 08, 2016.
"Consequently, applicants possessing international passports issued on or before February 15, 2016 and valid at least upto March 10, 2017 will be eligible to apply for Haj 2016", the official announcement said.
Booklets containing Guidelines and Haj Application Forms (HAF) can be downloaded from the Haj Committee of India website: http://www.hajcommittee.gov.in.
The Haj Committee of India also said that the distribution of state-wise quota this year will be based on 2011 census. Till 2015, the quota distribution was done as per the 2001 census. The Hajj Committee of India decides total number of hajis going for hajj from different Indian states based on the population of Muslims.
Meanwhile, more than 350,000 Muslims from all across India have applied for the Haj 2016 till Saturday February 06, 2016. Maharashtra alone has received applications four times more than its quota.
A total of 150,000 Muslims got to Haj from India. Out of them about 130,000 pilgrims go through the Haj Committee of India. Remaining pilgrims opt for Private Tour Operators (PTOs) to perform the annual ritual.
Muslims from across the world gather in Makkah, Saudi Arbia once in a year in the month of Dhul Hijja to perform Hajj.