Srinagar, Mar 31: Nearly 10,000 devotees from Jammu and Kashmir will perform the sacred pilgrimage of Hajj this year as the draw of lots was held Friday, officials said.
They said that 1320 people, above 70-years of age and 132 women who had applied without mahram, will also perform the Haj 2023.
Talking to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), Haj Executive Officer, Abdul Salam Mir said that a total of 14271 applications had been received for Hajj-2023.
“For the first time, women without Mahram have been allowed to go for the pilgrimage. 132 female applicants without mahram have been selected this year. 1320 people who are above 70 years of age have also been selected under Reserved Category,” Mir said. He said that 14,000 applications were received for Haj 2023 from the people of J&K. Earlier, Saudi government had barred the intending pilgrims above 70 years age in view of the Covid pandemic in year 2020 and 2021. However, the Saudi government recently announced that pilgrims above 70 years of age will be given priority and for the first time the Saudi government also allowed female pilgrims without mahram to perform the holy pilgrimage of Haj.
“The draw of lots through random digital selection was held on Friday after 3:00 pm,” he said. “The list of successful Intending Haj Pilgrims shall be published next day (Saturday) besides uploading the same on the official website of J&K Haj Committee www.jkshc.org,” said an official communique from the Haj house J&K.
This year, there will be 25 embankment points for the pilgrims across J&K. The J&K House has been helpful to many pilgrims in getting their passport verification one at the earliest. Haj house officials will facilitate the pilgrims from J&K by all means. Pertinently, in February this year, the Saudi government announced to bar children below 12 years of for performing the Haj 2023. Haj Committee of India (HCoI) in its official communique had stated that Saudi Government has decided to disallow the children below 12 years of age in a bid to ensure their safety. This year, HCoI after holding deliberations with the Saudi government, had made Haj application forms available online free of cost. The HCoI had also announced that this year Haj will be cheaper by Rs 80,000 and each pilgrim will have to pay Rs 3.70 to Rs 3.80 lakh for performing the Haj pilgrimage