The government has decided that there will be no Haj for Muslims from India this year as they won’t be able to travel to Saudi Arabia for Haj 2020 as the kingdom announced that the pilgrims shouldn’t be sent this year in wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on Tuesday.
According to the details given by Mr. Naqvi, the decision has come after Saudi Arabia's Haj and Umrah Minister Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten telephoned last night and suggested not to send pilgrims from India for Haj this year.
Saudi Arabia said on Monday that it has barred international visitors making the Islamic pilgrimage in order to keep a check over the control of coronavirus pandemic. Mr. Naqvi said that 2,13,000 applications were registered for Haj 2020 and the process to refund the full amount of money deposited by them without any deduction has already been started. The money will be refunded through online Direct Benefit Transfer mode into bank accounts of applicants.
This year will be marked as the first one after independence where pilgrims from India will not be going for Haj due to such uncertain times. Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Haj and Umrah said that due to coronavirus pandemic the pilgrims from outside Saudi Arabia are barred to make sure the disease is not spread further and therefore "very limited number" of pilgrims from various nationalities who already reside in Saudi Arabia, would be able to perform it.
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