Srinagar: Not a single woman from Jammu and Kashmir, the only Muslim majority state in the country, would undertake Hajj-2019 pilgrimage without maharam for the second successive year.
However, about 2300 women from different states in the country are going for the pilgrimage this year without maharam.
“We had received 22,389 application — individual and group — application from people who wanted to undertake the Hajj pilgrimage this year from Jammu and Kashmir,” an official of State Hajj Committee (SHC) told UNI on Thursday.
However, there was not a single woman who wanted to go for Hajj without maharam, he said, adding but there are large number of women who are going for the Hajj from the state with their maharams.
“Last year too there was no woman who wanted to go for the pilgrimage without maharam from the state,” he said.
Out of 22389 who have applied, 9762 persons from Jammu and Kashmir have been selected to undertake the pilgrimage this year, he said, adding the selection of these pilgrims was made through draw of lots on January 8. However, 797 pilgrims were selected under special category of above 70 years.
The NDA government headed by Narendra Modi in December 2017 announced that women above the age of 45 can now go for Hajj pilgrimage without maharam. It was further decided that women who applied for Hajj will be selected without any draw of lots. However, the government abolished the automatic selection of persons who applied for four consecutive years without getting selected. This has led to major disappointed among large number of people who had been applying for the past five years.
Ghulam Mohammad Mugloo, a resident of Natipora, said he and his wife have been applying for the Hajj for the past five years without getting selected for undertaking the pilgrimage. “This time when I applied again my age was just a month less than to quality for special category of above 70 years,” he said, adding there are hundreds of others who faced similar situation.
“My name also did not figure this time too after draw of lots,” he said. Similar sentiments were also expressed by others who wanted restoration of four year category.
The SHC official said pilgrims selected for Hajj, this year, are advised to remit advance Haj amount of Rs 81,000 by February 5. Later, he said, they will have to deposit Rs 1,20,000 as first installment by March 20.
The payment can be made electronically through Online mode on official website of Haj Committee of India i.e. www.hajcommittee.gov.in or manually into the Haj Committee of India (HCI) Accounts maintained with State Bank of India Account No 32175020010 FEE TYPE-25 or Union Bank of India 318702010406009.
He said the pilgrims can remit both Advance Haj Amount and First Installment Amount on or before February 5th if they choose to deposit the amount in one go.
However, in case the selected Pilgrims fail to deposit the Advance Haj Amount on or before February 5th their Haj Seats shall be cancelled without any further notice.
He further said that after depositing the Advance Amount, the Provisionally Selected Pilgrims shall submit a copy of Pay-in-slip, Chest X-Ray report, Blood Report, Medical Screening & Fitness Certificate as per proforma already hosted on the website of J&K State Haj Committee www.jkshc.org alongwith original Machine Readable International Passport with 2 passport size photographs (white background) on or before February 5, 2019 directly at the office of State Haj Committee, Bemina, Srinagar.
However, in respect of Jammu and Ladakh Division, the Provisionally Selected Pilgrims can deposit the receipts of Advance Haj Amount / First Installment alongwith the requisite documents / Original Passports in the offices of respective Deputy Commissioners on or before February 5, 2019. The last and final installment shall be notified separately in the month of May or June, 2019.
Meanwhile, he said interviews of selection of Khadim-ul-Hujaj 2019 has started from today. “We have called for interview those who have applied for Khadim-ul-Hujaj from Pulwama and Baramulla today. Those who have applied from Anantnag, Kulgam and Bandipora will have to report on January 19, Srinagar and Kupwara on January 20, Shopian, Badgam and Ganderbal on January 21,” he said.
However, he said, candidate from Jammu and Ladakh can attend the process any of these dates. All the candidates have been directed to bring International passport at the time of appearing for interview.
Meanwhile, he said 542 Haji of 2015 were given refund of difference amount paid by them at the time of undertaking the pilgrimage. We have handed over cheques to them against the amount, he said.