Regional Passport authorities here conducted an exclusive mela for applicants, intending to visit Haj as pilgrims, on Thursday.

Applicants, numbering over 200, from many southern districts, including Madurai, Ramanathapuram, Sivaganga and other towns, participated in the mela, presided over by Regional Passport Officer A. Maniswara Raja.

Inspector General of Police (south zone) Abhay Kumar Singh said that the police verification process, which is part of the issuance of fresh passports, would be expedited wherever it was required.

The officials said that only valid passport holders with 31, May 2014 alone can travel for the Haj pilgrimage. To speed up the process, a nodal officer had been appointed at the Passport Seva Kendra in Madurai and Tirunelveli.

Many of the applicants, who had come from far and near, were also informed the status of their applications. The IGP said that the applicants could take up the issue with the respective Superintendents of Police in the districts and the grievances would be taken on a priority basis.

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