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Updated: September 24, 2013 23:26 IST

Rubat row has Haj pilgrims in a fix

J. S. Ifthekhar
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With barely few hours left for the special Haj flights to take off, pilgrims from the State are uncertain about accommodation in the Nizam’s Rubats at Mecca. As many as 408 pilgrims from the erstwhile Nizam dominion have been selected through draw of lots for free of charge accommodation at the Rubats.

But in the absence of ‘Tasreeh’ (allotment permission) from the Haj Committee, pilgrims are not sure whether they are entitled for Rubat accommodation or not.

“I am going by the first flight on Wednesday night but I have no idea where I will stay at Mecca,” said Mohd. Nazeer Ahmed bearing Cover No. APR 5129-2. He and his wife have been selected for free accommodation in the Nizam Rubat but received no communication till Tuesday evening.

Scores of such pilgrims are facing a similar problem. Enquiries at the Haj House here are not yielding any satisfactory reply.

“We have no information. We are in touch with the Haj Committee of India (HCI),” said Abdul Hameed, Executive Officer, A.P. State Haj Committee.

Pilgrims getting accommodation at the Rubats end up saving Rs. 31,450 towards lodging. The saving runs into a whopping Rs. 1.28 crore for 408 selected pilgrims. This piquant situation has arisen on account of the feud between the Nizam Awqaf Committee (NAC) and Hussain Mohd. Al Shareef, caretaker of the Nizam Rubats at Mecca.

Separate lists

Both have come up with separate lists of pilgrims for Rubats stay. Till recently NAC used to select pilgrims through draw of lots and conveyed the names to the Rubat caretaker and the HCI. But of late, Mr. Shareef started selecting pilgrims on his own online resulting in a dispute.

NAC asserts that it is the rightful body to conduct draw and not Mr. Shareef as he is only an employee. Mr. Shareef is functioning as caretaker for the last 17 years after the death of his father who was appointed by the NAC to look after the Rubats.

To resolve the crisis, the HCI and the Indian Consul General at Jeddah, Faiz Ahmed Kidwai, have asked both the parties to come up with a common list. But, this has not happened so far.

No worry, say officials

Haj Committee officials say pilgrims opting for Rubat accommodation need not worry as lodging for them at Mecca has been arranged and accommodation charges will be reimbursed. Last year, too, the same problem occurred and was sorted out.

The fifth Nizam, Afzal-ud-Dowla, had set up Rubats in Mecca and Madina for the convenience of pilgrims. Over the years most of the 42 Rubats were razed for expansion of the grand mosque at Makkah. Now only two Rubats exist – one at Misfalah and the other at Al Mansur district.

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