Guwahati: A total of 3,905 Muslims have applied to the Joint State Haj Committee (JSHC) to participate in this year’s Haj pilgrimage, which is mandatory for every able Muslim.
The Joint State Haj Committee, which arranges the Haj pilgrimage for Muslims in the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, and Sikkim in the Northeast of India, stated this today. Manipur and Tripura have their own state Haj committees.
In 2023, a total of 6002 pilgrims went on the Haj pilgrimage under the aegis of the Joint State Haj Committee, which was the highest number of all time as restrictions imposed in 2022 were lifted.
It should be mentioned here that the restrictions in 2022 led to fewer people, while not a single pilgrim was able to undertake the holy pilgrimage due to the COVID pandemic in 2020 and 2021.
3,544 pilgrims were bound for Mecca in 2022, as some restrictions were in place, mainly related to the age of the pilgrim.
As conveyed by the Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India, and as per the Annual Bilateral Haj Agreement for Haj 2024 between India and Saudi Arabia, a quota of 1,40,020 seats for the Haj Committee of India has been allocated. The quota for the Joint State Haj Committee is 8840, whereas only 3,905 applications have been received within the extended deadline for online applications of January 15, 2024.
Of the 3,905 applicants, 104 are aged above 70 years, whereas 29 are ladies without Mehram (escort).
A total of 1,74,117 applications were received by the Haj Committee of India on the all-India level.
From Manipur, which is outside the purview of the JSHC, a total of 554 Muslims applied for Haj 2024, against the allotted quota of 194. Against a quota of 256 for Tripura, a total of 110 applications were received.
The JSHC stated that the estimated expenditure to be incurred by each pilgrim of the Haj will be Rs 3,71,800. The process for collecting the first installment of Rs 81,800 has started and will go on until February 14. The deadline for payment of the second installment has not been announced yet.