There have been
53 deaths, all due to natural causes, among 120,133 Indian pilgrims,
according to Indian Consul General Syed Akbaruddin. All the dead
pilgrims were above 60 years, he said, adding that 34 of them came
through the Central Haj Committee and 19 through private operators.
The phase of
bringing pilgrims from various embarkation points in India was
smoothly conducted by Saudi Arabian Airlines and Air-India. The return
phase will commence on March 9 and will continue up to April 11,
Akbaruddin told Arab News yesterday.
The strength of
Indian pilgrims is the second largest after Indonesia. As many as
71,133 pilgrims came through the Haj committee, 36,000 through private
operators and 13,000 from third countries. “All of them are in
Makkah,” the envoy
said, adding that 28,000 of the pilgrims who went to Madinah directly
on arrival, were back in Makkah.
A presentation on
“Indian Haj management in the Kingdom — 2001” was given to the
country’s 17-member Haj goodwill delegation, led by Jammu &
Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, on arrival.
The pilgrims came
from 27 different states and union territories in India, according to
In a state-wise
break-up of CHC pilgrims, Uttar Pradesh tops with 12,303, followed by
Maharashtra 10,754, Gujarat 7,161, Kerala 6,221, Jammu & Kashmir
5,758, Karnataka 4,845, Rajasthan 4,363, Andhra Pradesh 3,805, Madhya
Pradesh 3,452, Tamil Nadu 2,880, Delhi 2,655, West Bengal 2,056, Bihar
1,769 and Assam 1,067.
The rest of the
pilgrims came from smaller states and union territories.
The CHC has
arranged accommodation for about 67,000 pilgrims. The rest of CHC
pilgrims stay in Rubats (3,473) and in accommodation arranged by their
relatives here (600).
In the pre-Haj
phase, 28,065 pilgrims have completed their Madinah visit. The rest,
including those from Madras, Bombay and Hyderabad, will visit Madinah
after the Haj.
After a period of
nine years, Saudia carried 20,500 pilgrims from Bombay and Cochin. And
for the first time 14,000 Indian pilgrims traveling by Saudia will be
returning directly from Madinah to Bombay.
Farooq Abdullah is
due to meet Haj Minister Iyad Madani today. Ambassador Talmiz Ahmad
and his wife Sunita Mainee Ahmad hosted a reception for the visiting
delegation at Hotel Jeddah Trident on Thursday night.
Bangladeshis: Bangladeshi Consul General A.B. Manjoor Rahim said
45,000 Bangladeshis would perform Haj this time. “The number is
slightly less than last year’s,” he added.
He said at least
nine government ministers, including Foreign Minister Abdus Samad
Azad, came two days ago for the annual pilgrimage.
Prime Minister Hasina Wajed arrived here yesterday heading a 16-member
goodwill delegation, which includes her sister Rehana.
Source: Arab News