Haj pilgrimage from India cancelled

Muslim pilgrims maintain social distancing as they circle the Kaaba at the Grand mosque during the annual Haj pilgrimage amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia July 29, 2020.   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

There will be no Haj pilgrimage from India this year too. State Haj Committee Chairman C. Mohammed Faizy said on Saturday that Saudi Arabia decided not to permit any pilgrims from other countries in view of the COVID-19 spread.

Although Saudi Arabia restricted this year’s Haj to 60,000 pilgrims, there was hope among Indians that at least 5,000 pilgrims would be allowed from India. “The new decision by the Saudi government has dashed all our hopes,” said Mr. Faizy. Only those in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to perform Haj this year under rigorous restrictions for COVID.

There were 6,506 applicants for this year’s Haj from Kerala. More than 2,000 of them have accepted two doses of COVID vaccine as part of their preparation for the pilgrimage with the support of the State Haj Committee. “It is a sad blow to their hopes,” said the Haj Committee chairman, exhorting them to exercise forbearance and to pray for global peace and health.

Although 10,834 applicants had got selected for Haj in 2020 from Kerala, none could go to Makkah as Saudi Arabia banned pilgrims from other countries. The Haj committee had returned their money and documents.

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Printable version | Jul 23, 2021 10:45:47 PM |

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