Efforts were on to get additional quota for State Haj pilgrims. Chief Minister, K. Rosaiah, had written to the Centre seeking an extra 2,000 seats for Andhra Pradesh. “We are hopeful of getting some seats shortly,” said Mohd. Ahmadullah, Minister for Minorities Welfare.

Inaugurating the first orientation training camp for Haj pilgrims here on Sunday, he said the Haj flights from the State were expected to begin from October 10. Before that he would visit Saudi Arabia to personally see the arrangements for the pilgrims, Mr. Ahmadullah said.

He said the government was doing its best to make the pilgrims' journey comfortable. Hafiz Peer Shabbir Ahmed, MLC and former Haj Committee chairman, asked the pilgrims to be mentally prepared to face difficulties, if any, that may crop up during Haj. The Haj Committee was taking all steps for making their stay comfortable at Makkah and Madina but there could still be problems in view of the sheer numbers, he said.

Mufti Khaleel Ahmed, member, Central Haj Committee, gave a detailed account of the rituals connected with Haj. Earlier, Haj Committee executive officer, Habeebuddin Ahmed, welcomed the gathering.

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