The Haj Committee of India (HCOI) is considering restricting the pilgrimage to only once in a life time for an individual from the 2013 season.

The proposal, implying a ban on the pilgrimage for those who have already performed Haj, thereby enabling other aspirants to undertake the pilgrimage without much delay, also applies to those undertaking the pilgrimage through private travel operators.

This matter was seriously discussed in the recent meetings of HCOI. A final decision will be taken at the meeting scheduled for December, A. Aboobucker, vice-chairman of the committee told The Hindu on Wednesday.

During the Haj Pilgrimage 2012, the HCOI strictly implemented the rule of selecting only those who had not undertaken it in the last five years. This was widely welcomed by the entire community. Following the success of this rule, the HCOI has proposed to implement it rule from next season, he said.

As many as eight lakh applications were received by the HCOI from Muslims across the country for performing Haj in 2012. But due to various restrictions, only about 1.25 lakh could finally make it.

Mr. Aboobucker, on behalf of the HCOI, held discussions with Abdul Rahman, the Governor of ‘Tabung Haji’ (Haj pilgrims’ fund board), a Government of Malaysia undertaking, to help the Malaysian Muslims in performing Haj, in Kuala Lumpur on November 12 and 13.

Mr. Aboobucker’s visit to Kuala Lampur followed the discussion held by a delegation of Tabung Haji with HCOI in New Delhi three months ago. Mr. Aboobucker said that his visit was to study the technicalities of operating the fund and the various facilities Tabung Haji had created for the benefit of the pilgrims in Malaysia as well as in Saudi Arabia.

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