In the wake of the recent direction issued by the Ministry of External Affairs to the Haj Committee of India to restrict the pilgrimage at government subsidy to “once in a lifetime” against the existing “once in five years”, the Karnataka State Haj Committee has invited applications from Muslims who have never performed the pilgrimage earlier through the Haj Committee of India.

In a statement here, Executive Officer of Karnataka State Haj Committee A B Ibrahim said Haj applications would be accepted from February 6 to March 20 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on all working days.

The application forms can either be obtained from the Haj Committee office on Richmond Road in Bangalore free of cost or downloaded from the website of Haj Committee of Indiawww.hajcommittee.comThe application forms can either be hand-delivered or posted to the Karnataka State Haj Committee, No. 84/A, Richmond Road, Bangalore 560025 by March 20.

With the government restricting the pilgrimage to once in a life time, Mr. Ibrahim said the applicants will have to submit a notarised affidavit in the format given in the Haj Application form itself.

Mr Ibrahim told The Hindu that the applicants need to possess a valid passport at the time of submitting the applications.

He said applications without a passport valid at least until March 2014 would not be accepted.

“The applicants for Haj 2013 should also ensure their passports contain at least two empty visa pages adjacent to each other. Otherwise they are also advised to apply for renewal”, Mr. Ibrahim said.

The Regional Passport Office has allowed intending Haj pilgrims also to make use of the “Walk in with ARN (Application Reference Number)” facility extended to certain categories at the Passport Seva Kendras (PSK) in Bangalore, Mangalore and Hubli. The Walk in with ARN facility at PSKs is available between 9.30 a.m. and 11 a.m. More details on how to apply for a passport are available

onwww.passportindia. gov.in



Applications without a passport valid at least until March 2014 will not be accepted

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