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After two years, first batch of pilgrims leaves for Hajj

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Srinagar: The first batch of 145 pilgrims from Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday left for Saudi Arabia on the annual Hajj pilgrimage which was resumed this year after remaining suspended for two years in the wake of COVID-19, officials said.

Around 6000 pilgrims from Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh will perform this year’s Hajj pilgrimage which resumes after two years following Covid-19 restrictions. Out of total 6000 pilgrims, 5856 pilgrims will leave from Kashmir Valley and others from Delhi Airport.

According to the officials, while there will be only a single direct flight from Srinagar airport to Jeddah airport for the first five days, two flights will operate thereafter.

“All arrangements have been put in place. Everything is going on smoothly and the pilgrims will not face any problems,” executive officer of the Jammu and Kashmir Hajj Committee Abdul Salam Mir told reporters here.

He said all the pilgrims tested negative for COVID-19.

The pilgrimage was flagged off by executive officer and member of the Hajj Committee of India Aijaz Hussain.

He said the Hajj Committee and the union territory government have made all arrangements for the pilgrimage.

“We have tried to improve facilities for pilgrims this year,” he said.

A lady cop hugs and kisses a pilgrim as first batch of Hajj pilgrims left for Saudi Arabia today. Photo/Javed Khan

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