Ist batch of J

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Srinagar, Oct 30 (UNI) The first batch of 166 pilgrims from Jammu and Kashmir today left here for Jeddah in a special flight for performing Hajj.

Meanwhile, the State Haj Committee (SHC) has rescheduled the departure of 1500 pilgrims who have been selected against additional quota alloted by the centre as their passports and visa were not received so far.

The pilgrims, including 75 women, left Sheikh-ul-Aalam airport here this afternoon for Jeddah to perform the pilgrimage of holy cities of Mecca and Madina.

However, the pilgrims complained that they had to wait for hours at the airport despite the fact that they were asked to report at the Hajj house early in the morning by the authorities.

Official sources said the fight was delayed. However, no reason was given by them.

More than 7000 pilgrims from the Jammu and Kashmir will perform the Hajj this year.

However, 1500 pilgrims, who were selected at the last moment after centre granted additional quota to state, have not yet received passport and visa from the Central Hajj Committee (CHC), Mumbai, forcing the SHC to reschedule their departure from here.

Several other pilgrims were also dropped by the SHC after their names were not cleared by the intelligence agencies, though they were selected through draw of lots.

Sources said reason not to allow them to perform the hajj were not immediately clear. But it is alleged that they have links with the Separatists.


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