LG flags off first batch of Haj pilgrims from Srinagar airport

LG Manoj Sinha seeing off first batch of Haj pilgrims from Srinagar international airport on Wednesday.
LG Manoj Sinha seeing off first batch of Haj pilgrims from Srinagar international airport on Wednesday.

630 from Kashmir leave for Mecca

Suhail Bhat

SRINAGAR, June 7: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha flagged off the first batch of Haj pilgrims of the Union Territory of Jammu Kashmir from Srinagar International Airport, today.
Sinha interacted with the pilgrims and conveyed his greetings and best wishes to them.
“I pray for the successful pilgrimage of the blessed pilgrims who are embarking upon the sacred journey for performing the Haj,” said the Lt Governor. He also prayed for peace and prosperity for Jammu Kashmir and well-being of its people.
A total of 40 flights will be operating between 7th to 22nd June from Srinagar International Airport. This year, around 12,079 pilgrims from Union Territory of Jammu Kashmir and 452 from Ladakh UT will perform Haj pilgrimage.
The Haj pilgrims will be received by the Consulate General of India, Ministry of External Affairs, GoI, at Jeddah. Click here to watch video
Safina Baig, Chairperson J&K Haj Committee; Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary; Vijay Kumar, ADGP Kashmir; Vijay Kumar Bidhuri, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir; Akshay Labroo, Deputy Commissioner Budgam and members of J&K Haj Committee, senior officers of Airport Authority, civil and police administration were present on the occasion.
Meanwhile, the first group of 630 pilgrims from Kashmir left for Mecca in an eagerly anticipated event for this year’s Haj, starting the pilgrimage’s transforming journey full of fervor and optimism.
The pilgrims gathered at the airport in Srinagar wearing modest white attire as they bid farewell to their loved ones. This emotional setting fosters a celebratory mood and a discernible sense of unity and shared purpose. They emphasized their sincere desire to do the Haj rituals, immersing themselves in the profound spirituality and age-old traditions of this holiest of trips with unshakeable faith and great humility.
While expressing his intense joy, 66-year-old pilgrim, Hameed Ullah Sheikh, said that he has been waiting for this moment throughout his life. “Finishing one of the pillars of Islam fills me with immense satisfaction. It is a unique experience to visit the house of Allah. I will offer prayers for harmony and peace so that the Valley can once more be known as a land of saints and its citizens can live in peace, “he said.
“The first flight, departing at 3 pm, consists of 166 men and 149 women, totaling 315 pilgrims. The second flight will carry 173 men and 142 women, also totaling 315 pilgrims. Together, both flights will transport a total of 630 pilgrims from the Valley to Jeddah for their sacred journey of Haj this year,” said Safina Beg, Chairperson of Haj Committee.
She also expressed confidence in the arrangements made at the Haj house: “We have always strived to improve the arrangements, and this year is no exception. I am confident that the situation will remain favorable in the coming days as well,” she said.
Addressing previous complaints about dysfunctional SIM cards upon reaching Jeddah, Safina highlighted the committee’s special directions to prioritize the activation of local SIM cards for the pilgrims upon arrival. “This step aims to ensure smooth communication for the pilgrims during their stay, providing them with the necessary means to stay connected with their loved ones,” she said.
Mubashir, one of the pilgrims, expressed his overwhelming joy. “I am extremely happy to perform Hajj this year. It is the biggest dream of every Muslim, and today, with the grace of Allah, my dream has come true. As the Muslim world faces hardships, I pray to Allah to end all difficulties. My prayers also extend to the welfare and peace of Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
Expressing gratitude for the opportunity, another pilgrim said, “We are grateful that Allah has called us to this holy place. Going for Hajj was the sole aim of my life,” he said.
Performing Haj is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, and all physically and financially sound Muslims should do the Hajj pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime. This spiritual path comprises several significant religious rites that emulate those performed by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
The airport staff made sure that everyone engaged had a smooth and joyful journey by being properly equipped to provide assistance, guidance, and speedy processing of the pilgrims’ travel documentation.