It is highly unlikely that Indian Muslims will be able to undertake Haj pilgrimage this year.
Bengaluru: All thanks to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, it is highly unlikely that Indian Muslims will be able to undertake Haj pilgrimage this year.
However, it should be noted that the final call rests with the government as it waits on the final call to be taken by Saudi Arabia.
A circular issued by the Haj Committee of India on Friday said only a few weeks are left for the preparatory work in India for Haj 2020, yet the Saudi authorities have not communicated any further development regarding the pilgrimage.
"In view of the several inquiries received and concerns expressed over uncertainty over Haj 2020, it has been decided by the Haj Committee of India that, those pilgrims who desire to cancel their Haj journey this year, their 100 per cent amount paid so far will be refunded without any deductions," the circular issued by Haj Committee of India CEO Maqsood Ahmed Khan said.
"Coronavirus cases are increasing in Saudi Arabia and two lakh people have to go from here. We had made preparations, but now there is very little time left. We are waiting for an official word from Saudi Arabia," a top source told .
In response to a question, the source said, "This time, it is unlikely that people will be able to undertake Haj from India."
In 2020, a total of 2 lakh Indian Muslims were expected to perform Haj.
Over 95,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 600 deaths have been reported in Saudi Arabia due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
Back home in India, religious institutions and malls are all set to open on June 8 with guidelines issued by the government to be followed to the hilt.
It was on March 24 that PM Modi had announced the lockdown with several extensions following.
(With PIT inputs)
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Last Updated 6, Jun 2020, 5:50 PM