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J&K: First Hajj flights with 630 pilgrims to leave for Saudi Arabia

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Srinagar: The first batch of 630 pilgrims will leave from Kashmir to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday to perform the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

The first flight carrying 315 pilgrims will leave from Srinagar International Airport at 3 pm, towards Jeddah International airport for onward journey to Mecca, officials said

Two flights will leave every day for Jeddah Airport from Srinagar Airport from today and each will carry 315 pilgrims in separate schedules.

The pilgrims will wear Ihram – the white clothing worn by Hajj pilgrims- at Srinagar Airport, officials said.

Hajj occurs in the 12th month of the Islamic lunar calendar, called Dhul-Hijjah, between the eighth and 13th days of the month.

The pilgrims reported at Hajj house in Srinagar in the morning and after completion of all the formalities boarded State Road Transport Corporation coaches to reach Airport.

Emotional scenes were seen at the Hajj House Bemina where relatives of pilgrims were seen hugging each other reciting “Allah-ho-Akbar” (God is the greatest) before boarding the buses.

The pilgrims said that they will pray for peace and prosperity during their pilgrimage.

As many as 12000 pilgrims from Jammu and Kashmir are likely to perform this year’s Hajj.

This year, female pilgrims without ‘Mahram’ (Closest relative) will perform Hajj this year.

“ Over 100 such pilgrims from J&K will perform Hajj this year,” officials said.

The return of the pilgrims from Saudi Arabia will commence from July 17, this officials said

Director Srinagar International Airport Kuldeep Singh Rishi said that they made meticulous arrangements and preparations at Airport for smooth transition of the Haj pilgrims.

He said all the Pilgrims have to report at the Haj House at Bemina for completing the check in formalities and the boarding Cards will be issued at Haj house.

A special counter has been established at the Hajj house Bemina for this purpose by the SpiceJet airlines.

“We have placed a new Xray machine at Haj house for screening of the checking baggage of the passengers”, he said.

The customs formalities will also be completed at the Haj house only, he added.

The baggage of the passenger will be taken in a separate sealed container truck from the Hajj house to Airport.

The entire area for passage of Pilgrims through the airport has been earmarked and segregated, he added.

A separate area has also been earmarked in the SHA for changing to Ahram also.

“A wide bodied aircraft A340 has been deployed to carry passengers from Srinagar direct to Jeddah

This is a 75 M long aircraft with a wingspan of 64 M and a seating capacity of 335”, Rishi said.

He said with these arrangements we are hoping that the entire operation will be carried out smoothly and we will be able to ensure a nice experience for our passengers.

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