No Hajj for 397 this year

An aspirant pilgrim breaks down in tears at Ashkona Hajj camp in Dhaka on Monday as she was refused permission after the agency she paid to manage her Hajj failed to comply with the regulations. — Ali Hossain Mintu

At least 397 aspirant pilgrims could not fly finally to Saudi Arabia to perform hajj this year despite all efforts, including police intervention to realise money from the fraud hajj service providers and brokers.
Civil aviation and tourism minister Rashed Khan Menon said they could not fly mostly for lacking visa and for failing to purchase tickets for the travel.
He said that those who got tickets were sent by Monday, when the last hajj flight took off.
According to the civil aviation and tourism ministry, 4,200 pilgrims travelled to Saudi under the government arrangement while private agencies arranged the travel for 1,22,050 others.
A total of 1,26,250 were supposed to travel to Saudi Arab, but statistics showed that both Biman Bangladesh Airlines and Saudia Airlines ferried 1,25,355 pilgrims by Monday, which meant that 895 could not fly finally.
Hajj officials said many managed their tickets urgently by other airlines and travelled to Saudi Arab, but their number could not be confirmed.
The airport police station inspector (investigation), Ijaj Shafi, said they received 322 complaints so far alone at the Hajj camp and of them 81 complaints were still unresolved.
The police official said they arrested suspected brokers Ataur Rahman and his wife China Khatun of Rajshahi and Faridur Rahman, 63, of Bogra, who worked for Eco Aviation and Tourism.
They would be sent to court in Dhaka today.
Muhammad Ali Masum said they arranged Tk 6.04 lakh to send his parents — Abdul Mannan and Rajia — and they had been waiting at the hajj camp since August 21.
The operators promised them every day that they would be sent to Saudi Arabia but finally they were leaving Dhaka for Rajshahi.
BH Haroon, chairman of parliamentary standing committee on religious affairs ministry, only estimated 81 who finally could not fly.
Rashed Khan Menon, however, claimed their success in sending all aspirant pilgrims on the pre-hajj flight and declared closure.
‘Some agencies rented houses in Saudi Arabia late to save some money and it created the pressure on the airlines,’ he said.

Source: New Age

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