Srinagar, Jun 5 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.
About 6,000 pilgrims from the union territory are scheduled to undertake the pilgrimage this year, they said.
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.
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha interacted with the pilgrims via video conference.
“Interacted with first batch of Haj pilgrims from J&K. Conveyed my greetings and best wishes to people undertaking sacred pilgrimage. I pray for successful Haj pilgrimage & peace, amity and prosperity for UT of J&K,” the LG wrote on Twitter.
National Conference president Farooq Abdullah and vice president Omar Abdullah, too, greeted the pilgrims.
“JKNC President Dr Farooq Abdullah, Vice President @OmarAbdullah greets the selected Hujaaj leaving for the holy journey today. They urge the Hujaaj to pray specially for lasting peace and prosperity in J&K, Ladakh, the party tweeted