Al-Hajeej fraud: Duped aspirants protest for refund

Al-Hajeej fraud: Duped aspirants protest for refund

By Ishfaq Reshi

SRINAGAR: Hajj aspirants duped by Al-Hajeej Tour and Travel, a private travel company, in 2011 protested here on Monday to demand refund.
The private tour and travel company had duped hundreds of gullible Hajj aspirants in 2011. The owners of the company were absconding since 2012 after failing to provide visas to the aspirants despite receiving money and documents in 2011.
Each aspirant had deposited a minimum of Rs 1 lakh 20 thousand for the pilgrimage.
Fabiyan Wahid Gilkar, prime accused in the multi-crore scandal, was arrested in 2012 by the police officials and was later granted interim bail as he agreed to deposit an amount of Rs 2 crore in the account of Sessions Court and promised to take aspirants to Hajj.
However, the Al-Hajeej owners failed to fulfill their promise and also violated the bail by not presenting themselves in the court.
Earlier this week, Gilkar was arrested from New Delhi before he could flee abroad.
On Monday, the duped aspirants, headed by Ghulam Rosool Dar, staged the protest to demand their money back.
They said over 350 people were duped by the company and most of them are yet to get their money back.
“We had deposited more than Rs 4 crore with the company for our pilgrimage. The government must ensure that our money is returned to us,” Ghulam Mohammad, one of the protesters, said.
The protesters said only a few aspirants were returned their money after the property of the accused was auctioned.
“We also demand strict punishment to the accused,” they said.

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