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Guv flags off first batch of 800 Hajj pilgrims

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Srinagar, July 14: The first batch of 800 Hajj pilgrims from Jammu and Kashmir today left for the Muslim holy city of Madina in Saudi Arabia.

As many as 10,000 pilgrims from the state are scheduled to perform the pilgrimage this year.

Governor N N Vohra was at the airport to see off the pilgrims of the first batch. Governor's advisor Khursheed Ganai and other senior officials including the Director General of Police S P Vaid and Divisional Commissioner Kashmir were also present at the airport, an official of the State Hajj Committee said.

Governor interacted with a number of pilgrims and wished them a safe journey and a highly satisfying Hajj, an official spokesperson said.

While 340 pilgrims were on the first flight, the second and third flights carried 150 pilgrims each.

The first flight of 340 included 179 Male and 161 Female pilrims; of whom 203 were from District Anantnag; 6 from Bandipora; 26 from Baramulla; 20 from Budgam; 6 from Ganderbal; 4 from Kulgam; 6 from Kupwara; 16 from Pulwama; 52 from Srinagar and 1 from Shopian.

The official said 10,183 pilgrims from Jammu and Kashmir have been selected this year to undertake  the Hajj pilgrimage, considered to be one of the five basic pillars of Islam.

Pilgrims will be flown from here to Delhi in four daily flights with last flight scheduled to take off on 25 July, he said.

The Hajj pilgrimage culminates on Eid-ul-Azha, which will fall on 22nd or 23rd of August depending on appearance of crescent.

The first flight carrying the pilgrims back home from Saudi Arabia is scheduled to arrive here on August 25 while last return flight is on  September 07.

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