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Haj pilgrims to be selected through lots

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QUITE A TASK: Irfan Shareef, Assistant Secretary, Haj Committee, screening applications of pilgrims in Hyderabad on Tuesday. - Photo: Mohd. Yousuf
QUITE A TASK: Irfan Shareef, Assistant Secretary, Haj Committee, screening applications of pilgrims in Hyderabad on Tuesday. - Photo: Mohd. Yousuf

Staff Reporter

Heavy rush at Haj House on last day of submission of applications

Record 9,225 applications received this yearHaj Committee quota is one lakh pilgrimsOnly 4,955 from State to be selected.

Hyderabad: Draw of lots (qurrah) for the Haj 2006-II has become a certainty with a record number of 9,225 applications pouring in. As the deadline for submission of applications ended at 5 p.m on Tuesday, the Haj House saw heavy rush of pilgrims.

All through the day, there was hectic activity with the pilgrims frantically filling up applications forms. As many as 1,700 applications were filed on Tuesday itself. The quota fixed by the Central Haj Committee for Andhra Pradesh is 4,955 as per the 2001 census. But till yesterday, 8,000 applications were received and the number swelled to 9,225 by Tuesday evening. "There is no way we can stop issue of forms as today is the last day for both issue and submission of forms," said Irfan Shareef, Assistant Secretary, Haj Committee.

Fixed quota

The Government of India has fixed a quota of 1.47 lakh for the entire country. Of this, the Haj Committee quota is 1 lakh and the remaining is allotted to private tour operators. Uttar Pradesh has the highest quota of 21,800, followed by West Bengal (14,354), Bihar (9,731) and Maharashtra (7,284). Many applicants are of the view that the State Haj Committee should not have issued 13,000 applications when the quota is just 4,955.

"They should follow first-come-first-served principle," a pilgrim said.


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