India cancels Haj 2021 as Saudi Arabia limits pilgrims to 65,000; bars foreign travellers due to Covid-19
New Delhi, June 15: The Haj Committee of India on Tuesday officially cancelled all the applications for Haj-2021. This comes after Saudi Arabia limited this year's pilgrimage to 60,000 pilgrims from within the kingdom due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
''The Ministry of Haj & Umrah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia issued a statement informing that due to Corona Pandemic conditions, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has decided to allow citizens and residents inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia only to attend Haj 1442 in limited numbers. International Haj has been cancelled. Hence it had been decided by the Haj Committee of India that all the applications for Haj-2021 stands cancelled, " reads the circular.
"The kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is honoured to host pilgrims every year, confirms that this arrangement comes out of its constant concern for the health, safety and security of pilgrims as well as the safety of their countries," the statement further said.
It may be recalled that in 2020, the Haj pilgrimage was out of bounds for the Muslim faithful from India as it came during the surging peak of the Covid-19 pandemic in late July, and this year, the country is witnessing a second and much deadlier Covid wave.