Thanks to the cold war between the NAC and the Rubat caretaker, as many as 408 pilgrims selected for free-of-charge stay in the two Rubats at Makkah have not been able to avail the benefit

For the first time perhaps pilgrims from the erstwhile Hyderabad State are deprived of free accommodation in the Rubats constructed by the Nizam at Makkah in Saudi Arabia.

Though the annual Haj has begun, none of the 408 pilgrims selected for free-of-charge stay in the two Rubats has been able to avail the benefit. The cold war between the Nizam Awqaf Committee (NAC) and the Rubat caretaker, Hasan Mohd. Al Shareef, has put paid to their hopes.

Hefty loss

For no fault of theirs, the selected pilgrims stand to lose Rs. 31,450 each. Together, they lose a staggering Rs. 1.28 crore. This is the first time such a piquant situation has arisen ever since the Rubats were built by the 5 Nizam, Afzal-ud-Daula, for the convenience of pilgrims. The problem arose, with both the NAC and Mr. Shareef selecting pilgrims separately and insisting on their accommodation.

Draw of lots

While the NAC chose the pilgrims through draw of lots, Mr. Shareef conducted a draw online, leading to the dispute.

Efforts to persuade the NAC and the Rubat caretaker to resolve the dispute in the interest of the pilgrims have proved futile.

“We did our best till the last, but nothing worked. It is a great loss for pilgrims,” said Haj Committee special officer S.A. Shukoor.

Meanwhile, Nawab Najaf Ali Khan, the grandson of the 7 Nizam, said the Hajis were paying the price for the tussle between the NAC and Mr. Shareef.

“My forefathers would have never thought such a situation would arise,” Mr. Khan said. The issue, he feels, could be resolved in no time if Prince Mukarram Jah, the original Mutawalli of the Rubats, took interest in the matter and replaced Mr. Shareef with a new caretaker.

The NAC is the sole authorised body to conduct the draw, and it is approved by both the Central and State Haj Committees.

He blamed the NAC for not taking any step to resolve the issue and wanted its chairman and members to resign owning moral responsibility for depriving the pilgrims of their rightful due.

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