Kashmiri pilgrims’ Hajj fraught with ‘bad accommodation, fraud practice’

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Kashmiri Hajj pilgrims who traveled through the State Hajj Committees are facing significant challenges during their stay in the holy city of Madina.

The pilgrims have accused the Haj Committee of India of engaging in deceitful practices and fraud, claiming that they have been placed in substandard hotels that were rejected by the Saudi Government.

CPI (M) leader M Y Tarigami took to his Twitter handle to express anguish over the same. “There are reports about poor accommodation provided to Kashmiri Haj pilgrims in Madina. More than six pilgrims were crammed into single-room accommodations with rickety furniture. They were forced to use shared and filthy washrooms. The subpar stay arrangements have caused immense hardships to the pilgrims, particularly women. The pilgrims have felt betrayed by the Hajj Committee of India. Requesting @haj_committee to look into this matter,” he tweeted,

Several pilgrims who spoke to a local news gatherer KNT said that the accommodation provided by the Hajj Committee of India in Madina is extremely poor.

“More than 600 pilgrims have been crammed into a building without adequate toilet facilities. Pilgrims are often forced to wait in long queues for the limited number of available toilets. To make matters worse, the doors of the toilets do not close properly, and there is a frequent lack of running water. Female pilgrims, in particular, are suffering immensely due to these conditions. The kitchen facilities are equally inadequate, with many lacking refrigeration. Additionally, the rooms are overcrowded, with five to six individuals sharing a single room, resulting in a lack of privacy for women. The insufficient number of air conditioners only exacerbates the issues,” a pilgrim said.

In response to their grievances, frustrated pilgrims have resorted to posting video clips on social media.

The pilgrims are outraged that the facilities promised to them by the Hajj are nowhere to be found in Madina. They expressed their discontent, stating that the Indian government spends a substantial amount of money to ensure proper facilities for the pilgrims, however, none of it is visible in practice.

It is important to note that the Ministry of Minority Affairs is the responsible ministry for organising the Haj pilgrimage in India.

The Haj Committee of India operates under the purview of the Ministry of Minority Affairs and the Consulate General of India coordinates all arrangements for the Haj Committee of India pilgrims in Saudi Arabia.

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