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Dhaka Tribune

300 cheated pilgrims deprived of Hajj

Update : 10 Oct 2013, 02:35 PM

As many as 300 pilgrims this year will be deprived of performing Hajj despite they made payments to the agencies concerned. 

The aggrieved pilgrims staged demonstrations in front of Shahjalal International Airport and Hajj camp at Ashkona protesting the fraudulence by the Hajj agencies.

The religious affairs ministry has taken no steps to solve the problem. The civil aviation and tourism ministry is also silent over the issue, said a cheated pilgrim.

Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (Haab), however, said they were taking action against those Hajj agencies involved in fraudulence.

Senior Vice-President of Haab Abdul Kabir Khan admitted that it would not be possible to send those pilgrims to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj this year as the process was closed last Wednesday.

He blamed the government for issuing about 850 licenses to Hajj agencies this year without taking into consideration their financial ability.

He also held some middlemen responsible for mismanagement. “We are trying to resolve the problem but yet to get any response from the government.

“The religious affairs ministry has an emergency fund of Tk400m set up with Haab’s finance and pil-grims’ fees for emergency use,” said the Haab leader.

The government could use it for sending those pilgrims to Saudi Arabia but they did not respond.

Contacted, Civil Aviation Ministry Additional Secretary Abu Hena Rahmatullah Munim said he had noth-ing to do with it as it’s a matter of religious affairs ministry.

This correspondent could not reach the state minister, secretary, additional secretary and joint secre-taries of the ministry as, said the officials of the ministry, they are now in Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj.

Assistant Hajj Officer Abdul Malek, however, said they had no exact figure of pilgrims cheated. He said a total of 87,213 pilgrims had received visas from the Saudi Arabian authorities to perform Hajj.

Of them, 1,599 pilgrims have gone to Saudi Arabia under government management and the rest are under private management.

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