State Hajj Committee denies allegations, says CEO himself on pilgrimage has not received any complaint
Hajj pilgrims from Kashmir Valley Monday accused the State government of leaving them in lurch in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. They said they have been spending nights under open sky for lack of accommodation and food facilities for them.
A number of pilgrims from South Kashmir’s Pulwama district informed CNS over phone from Makkah that they have been facing a lot of hardship while the Hajj Committee has been doing nothing to redress their problems.
“Over 300 pilgrims took off from Srinagar Airport on 26 August and till date we have been provided no accommodation facilities. We have been deprived even of food. We are all over 70 and spending time in open heat has deteriorated our health,” said Abdul Rahim Rather from Farsi village of Rohumu Pulwama.
Another pilgrim Ghulam Muhammad from Panzgampora Awantipora said that even the transport facility is not given according to the category we had applied for. “One Kashmiri pilgrim Abdul Rahim from Qasbayar Pulwama was injured during melee after he tried to board an overcrowded bus. It is irony that despite tall claims, Jammu and Kashmir Government did nothing to provide facilities for the pilgrims,” he said.
“We have apprised the concerned officials about the problems but they are acting as mute spectators,” he said.
An official from State Hajj Committee said, “Chief Executive Officer has also gone for pilgrimage and they have not received any such complaints from any Kashmiri pilgrim,” he said.
However, In-charge Hajj Committee Pulwama Shakil Ahmed confirmed that pilgrims have been complaining about the lack of facilities. “We have sent a communiqué to the authorities and hopefully their problems will be addressed,” he said.