India not to send Haj pilgrims to Saudi Arabia this year, refunds would be done: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

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India not to send Haj pilgrims to Saudi Arabia this year, refunds would be done: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

Saudi Arabia has announced that this year, it will allow a ‘very limited’ number of pilgrims to perform Haj in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. Following which, the Indian Government has decided to refund the application money of pilgrims without any deductions.

Referring to this, Union Minister for Ministry Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, “We have decided that Haj pilgrims from India will not send to Saudi Arabia for Haj 2020. Application money for more than 2.3 lakh pilgrims will be returned without cancellation deductions through direct transfer.”

Reportedly, Saudi Arabia said that it will be allowing people of different nationalities already residing in the kingdom to take part in the pilgrimage, which is scheduled to begin in July. As of now, it has not yet specified how many pilgrims will be permitted to take part.

India not to send Haj pilgrims to Saudi Arabia this year, refunds would be done: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

The said move comes in the wake of rising Coronavirus cases at a record high around the world. As per the records, an estimate of 2 million people would have otherwise visited Mecca and Medina during the annual gathering this summer.

The Ministry that oversees pilgrimages issued a statement that mentioned this decision was taken to ensure Haj is performed in a safe manner from a public health perspective. Also, while taking all preventative measures and ensuring that the necessary social distancing protocols are in place to protect people from the risks associated with this pandemic and in accordance with the teachings of Islam in preserving the lives of human beings.

Also, as per the records, Saudi Arabia since its establishment, has never cancelled the Haj in the nearly 90 years.

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