Of 35215 aspiring pilgrims only 7960 will make it to Mecca, this year

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SRINAGAR: Against 35215 Muslims aspiring to go on Haj pilgrimage, only 7960 are actually flying to the Saudi Kingdom, an official spokesman said. This is despite the fact that the state got an additional quota of 1500 more berths, compared to last year.

Speaking on the occasion, Haj Minister, who presided over the computerised draw of lots, said the Executive State Hajj Committee this year had received 35215 applications which include 25793 applicants from general category. He said the total quota allocated for the state is 7960 seats.

The Minster said the state government will take the matter with Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi to seek additional quota so that pendency of Hajj applicants is minimized.

Giving out the details, Executive Officer State Hajj Committee, Syed Qamar Sajad said reserved category applicants are more than the total quota for the state which includes 2266 applicants whose age is 70 plus and designated as category ‘A’, besides 6891 fourth timers who have already applied for three consecutive years without success and designated as category ‘B’ and 265 applicants designated as category ‘B’ (fifth timer).

As per the norms category ‘A’ applicants are selected as a whole, besides category ‘B’ (fifth timers) as well by which 5429 Hajj seats remain for applicants under category B (fourth timers) which already is more than the remaining Hajj seats.

The Executive Officer said that it becomes imperative to proceed with selection of the Hajj pilgrims through Draw of Lots (Qurrah). Thereafter the remaining applicants of category ‘B” shall be put under Reserve Wait List (RWL-B), in the order assigned by Qurrah. Subsequently, Qurrah will be conducted amongst the applicants of General Category and they will be put under General Wait List (GWL), in the order assigned by Qurrah. The order of preference shall be RWL-B followed by GWL, while as draw of lots will be held for category ‘B’ and for general category applicants, he said.

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