Kerala selects 1,558 Haj pilgrims
Kozhikode, Jul 7 (UNI) Kerala Haj Committee (KHC) today selected 1,558 devotees out of a quota of 5,577 for the Haj pilgrimage next year.
The selection, through draw of lots, was made from among 14,549 applications received from various parts of the state, KHC sources said.
The rest of the quota would be filled by candidates who could not make it to the sacred city last time due to shortage of vacancy, they said.
Those above 60 years of age among cover applicants would also be considered for inclusion in this year's pilgrimage on priority basis, they said.
Though Kerala's quota is only 5,577 about 10,000 applicants would make it to the Holy city by utilising unused quota of other states.
The draw of lots was inaugurated by Kerala Local Self Governance and Minorities' Welfare Minister Paloli Mohammed Kutty.
Talking to reporters after the function, Mr Kutty said the government would exert pressure on the Centre to increase quota for the state for the Haj pilgrimage.
He annouced a Rs five lakh grant for renovation and computerisation of the KHC office here.
Uttar Pradesh which has the highest Muslim population in the country had an annual quota of 21,800 with the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli sending only five pilgrims to the Islamic Kingdom.
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