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'Pilgrims selected for Hajj 2020 should be finalised for Hajj 2021 without Qurrah'

An estimated 200,000 Muslims from India were planning to perform Haj in the year 2020

Saturday June 6, 2020 2:48 PM, ummid.com with inputs from IANS

Selection of pilgrims for Hajj 2021

Hajj 2020: With the possibility of limiting Hajj 2020 to official delegates from selected countries and Haj Committee of India deciding to refund Advance Haj Amount, there is a growing demand that pilgrims selected after Qurrah this year should be considered for Hajj 2021.

"This is because of the Covid-19 pandemic. But, we feel the pilgrims shouldn't be made to suffer. We have written to the Centre demanding that the same lot of people selected must be allowed to go next year", Chairman Maharashtra State Haj Committee Jamal Siddiqui told IANS.

'Compensation for Haj pilgrims'

Siddiqui also demanded that pilgrims should be adequately compensated. "If the Centre is giving a refund, then it should also be with adequate compensation," he said.

This year, an estimated 200,000 Muslims from India were planning to perform Haj, including over 125,000 through the Haj Committee of India, and the rest around 47,000 through private Haj Tour operators.

The final list of Haj pilgrims is prepared after selection done through Qurrah - Draw of lots, conducted by various state Haj committees.

Indian Haj and Umrah Tours Operators' Welfare Association (IHUTOWA) President Abdul Rehman Milli said that the demand for compensation is unjustified, but he supported the demand to carry forward this year's list of pilgrims to the 2021 Haj season.

'Hajj is once-in-lifetime opportunity'

Senior Congress leader Arif Naseem Khan, expressing similar sentiments, averred that people apply for years, so those selected for 2020 this year should not be deprived of this once-in-lifetime opportunity and the government should consider them for 2021 Haj.

Pilgrims going through the Haj Committee of India pay around Rs 201,000 (Rs. 2 Lakh and one thousand), those in the Green Category pay Rs 2.90 lakhs.

Those opting for the private Haj tour operators are required to pay between Rs 3.50 lakhs to Rs 12 lakhs depending on Gold, Silver or Bronze category of the applications, according to the association.

Coronavirus impact on Hajj, Umrah

Incidentally, in May this year, the much-anticipated Ramadan Umrah was suspended for the first time, disappointing around three million pilgrims worldwide, including an estimated 500,000 from India alone.

The first flight for Haj - starting on July 28, 2020 - was scheduled to depart from Mumbai and other parts of India from June 22, and the return flights were expected by August.

The visa endorsement and other final processes were due to start from May 8 onwards, but it was not taken up in view of the Coronavirus pandemic.

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