[Back to Category
3,455 hajj pilgrims face uncertainty
Uncertainty about whether 3,455 devotees would be able to perform hajj this year looms as the Saudi government has blacklisted 12 Bangladeshi hajj agencies.
The pilgrims have already deposited money with these agencies, which were blacklisted for different irregularities including housing the pilgrims in unauthorised homes and breaching government agreements, Hajj Officer Bazlul Haque Biswas told The Daily Star yesterday.
The firms are Colombia Travels International, First Bangladesh Travel Agency, Islamia Overseas Ltd, Air Matco International, Hollywood Tours and Travels, Air Peace Travels, Shah Daud Travels, New Imam, Sayem Tours and Travels, Bab-e-Madina Travels and Tours, Mostafa Travels and World Link Tours and Travels.
Officials in the religious affairs ministry said soon after the Saudi Arabian government informed them about the ban, the ministry asked those firms to appeal with the Saudi authorities, if they had any arguments in their favour.
The pilgrims will be able to perform hajj only if the Saudi government recommend sending them under an alternative system, mentioned the officials.
"Considering the prayers from the hajj agencies, the Saudi government might give its final decision on August 20," MA Rashid Shah Samrat, general secretary of Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh, told this newspaper.
The government should continue diplomatic efforts to convince the Saudi government so that the pilgrims can perform hajj after getting registered with other agencies, he added.
Over 1.12 lakh Bangladeshis will perform hajj this year under public and private arrangements. The cost of a private hajj package will be over Tk 3.3 lakh.
Last year 15 Bangladeshi hajj agencies were blacklisted on charges of being involved in similar irregularities.
[ Front Page ] 2012-08-10