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Manoj R Nair for Mumbai Mirror

  • Uses computers to draw lots for selecting pilgrims

Mumbai, Aug 1: For the first time, computers were used this year to draw qurrah or lots to select pilgrims for Haj, resulting in fewer complaints of corruption and favouritism.

Maulana Mustaqeem Azmi, member, Maharashtra State Haj Committee, said, “Last time, when lots were drawn using envelopes, there were complaints that the committee had favoured some pilgrims. This time, the entire process of choosing the pilgrims was completed in a few hours.”

Khetwadi MLA Bhai Jagtap, who was present at Haj House during the draw, said, “This time, the process was carried out in a transparent manner.”

At the draw held at Haj House near Crawford Market on Tuesday morning, 10,016 pilgrims were selected for the pilgrimage later this year out of the 23,363 applicants in the state. Another 100 pilgrims have been put on the wait-list in case there are cancellations.

Azmi said that though the state had a quota of only 7,990 pilgrims, 2,026 more seats have been allotted out of the unused quota from states such as Bihar, Assam and West Bengal.

The quota for India, fixed by the Saudi Arabian government based on its population of Muslims, is 1,47,000. Out of this, 1,10,000 travel through the Haj Committee which processes travel documents, makes arrangements for their stay and arranges subsidised airfare.

Meanwhile, Jagtap wants a separate quota for Mumbai. “Out of the 7,600 applicants from the city, only around 3,000 got the opportunity to undertake the pilgrimage. The population of the city is greater than that of many states. We have asked the Union government to create a separate quota for Mumbai,” he said.


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