SRINAGAR: Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti urged the Hajj pilgrims from Kashmir to pray for peace and prosperity of the state during their pilgrimage to the holy cities.
Mehbooba was talking to the Hajj bound pilgrims at Srinagar Airport. Giving a send off to the first batch of Hajj pilgrims, Mehbooba wished them a safe journey and smooth performance of Manasik-e-Hajj.
The Chief Minister reached Srinagar International Airport this morning wherefrom the first group of 340 Hajis left for the holy city of Madina Munnawarra in a direct Air India flight. The pilgrims who left for the holy city in the first flight included 238 from Anantnag, 56 from Srinagar, 11 from Baramulla, 8 each from Kulgam and Shopian, 6 from Pulwama, 4 from Budgam, 3 from Jammu and 2 each from Kupwara and Ganderbal.
Minister for Hajj and Auqaf, Syed Farooq Andrabi, Legislators, Noor Mohammad Sheikh and Saif-ud-Din Bhat, Director General Police, S P Mishra, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Khan, IGP Kashmir, Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gillani, Director Information, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, Member, Hajj Committee of India, Mohammad Irfan Ahmad, Deputy Commissioner Budgam, Mir Altaf Hussain and other officers of civil and police administration and Airports Authority of India (AAI) were present on the occasion.
Interacting with the pilgrims, Mehbooba wished them well-being and smooth conduct of Haj-e-Baitullah. She also asked them to pray to Allah for peace and progress of the state as well as safeguarding its people from the tragedies and miseries of violence and bloodshed.
The Hajis thanked the Chief Minister for ensuring elaborate arrangements at the Hajj House and Srinagar International Airport.
Meanwhile, the second flight carrying another 340 Hajis left the Srinagar International Airport for Madina Munnawarra in the afternoon. The pilgrims boarding the second flight included 197 from Anantnag, 79 from Bandipora, 36 from Srinagar, 8 from Baramulla, 6 from Pulwama, 5 from Kulgam, 4 each from Budgam and Ganderbal and one from Shopian.
As reported earlier, 6457 Hajis from J&K are scheduled to perform Hajj this year. They will be flown to Madina Munnawarra from Srinagar International Airport in 20 flights with two flights operating each day.
All arrangements of transportation, boarding and lodging, luggage checking and security at Srinagar Hajj House and hassle-free screening of baggage, refreshment, food, Nimaz, distribution of travel documents and issuance of boarding passes at the Srinagar Airport are in place for the Hajj pilgrims.