126 Valley Hajj aspirants duped
Local Firm ‘Swindles’ Crores; Police Register Case
SYED IMRAN ALI HAMDANI
Srinagar, Oct 18: A private tour operator here has allegedly duped at least 126 aspiring Hajjis at the eleventh hour and is absconding. This time the accused firm is M/S Al-Balaagh Tours and Travels.
The aspiring pilgrims while staging protest demonstration at Press Enclave here said the Al Balaagh representatives, particularly its owner, cheated them. “We got a shocker on October 17 when we were scheduled to collect our travel documents including passport, visa and air tickets from the Al Balaagh office at Hari Singh High Street. When we went to collect the travel documents we were stunned to find that except for the peon, none of the office bearers was present there,” the protesters said. “When we enquired about our travel documents and the office people, we didn’t get a convincing reply.
On further investigation into the matter, we realized that we have been duped and the Al Balaagh people are absconding.”
The victims said they had deposited around Rs 1,50,000 for the pilgrimage last year. “But we have smelled a rat in the entire process for quite some time now. The Al Balaagh owner has been delaying our Hajj training on different pretexts and when we started asking questions he threatened that our pilgrimage would be cancelled,” the protesters said. “He had booked tickets for some of us so that we don’t suspect him. But just two days back he got those tickets cancelled.”
Noor Hussain Khan of Bandipora, an aspirant, said the travel operator changed venues for imparting training. “We were told that Hajj training would he be held at Hotel Jehangir but suddenly changed the venue to The Residency Mall. And the same day we demanded visa and passport but he misbehaved with us and threatened to cancel our pilgrimage,” the victim said.
The victims said they have discovered that vaccines they were administered for the travel did not bear stamp of the CMO—something which was mandatory.
The protesters accused the state government of failing to safeguard the interests of aspiring Hajjis. “It is for the second consecutive time that aspiring Hajjis have been duped and the government is caught napping,” the protesters alleged.
Pertinently earlier this year, a private firm Hajeej India duped a number of Hajj aspirants, leading to registration of case against its owner and his subsequent arrest. A court later granted interim bail to the accused after he agreed to deposit an amount of Rs 2 crores in the account of Sessions Court. The Hajeej India had swindled staggering Rs 10 crore by allegedly duping more than 500 aspiring Hajj aspirants.
Meanwhile, a police spokesman said an FIR vide No: 82/2012 under section 420 of RPC (cheating) has been filed against the firm.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 18 Oct 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 18 Oct 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 19 Oct 2012 00:00:00 IST
- MORE FROM FRONTPAGE
Law Department to finalize panel in consultation with CJ
Srinagar, Oct 18: Jammu and Kashmir Government is all set to appoint the new chairman of Advisory Board on Public Safety Act (PSA) as the extended term of the incumbent chairman Justice (retired) M L Koul More
- Srinagar City
Lays Conference Hall foundation stone
Srinagar, Oct 18: Chief Justice MM Kumar Thursday inaugurated additional High Court complex even as he laid foundation stone of a Conference Hall. Among others, the inauguration ceremony was attended More