NEW DELHI: The Haj 2020 will be fully digitised and the process for filing applications for the pilgrimage will start on October 10, Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi announced on Friday. When asked how people in the Kashmir Valley would apply for Haj, the minister assured Kashmiris will not face problems.
“There will be no difficulty in filling Haj forms in Kashmir. People who cannot fill the forms at their homes will be facilitated at government centres,” Naqvi told this newspaper.
Haj 2020 will be “100 per cent online” and a system has been developed to provide e-visa to all the pilgrims, Naqvi said, adding “Applications for Haj can also be filed through a mobile application.”
Muslims seeking to go to Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage can file online applications during October 10—November 10. Mobile phones and internet services remain suspended in Kashmir since August 5 when the Centre hollowed Article 370 of the Constitution and scrapped the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
He also said there will be 22 Haj embarkation points in 2020 as compared to 21 last year. Naqvi said the ministry was also considering another new embarkation point. There have been many requests of making Kannur International Airport as a Haj embarkation point and that is being examined by the authorities, he said.
Naqvi made the announcements after chairing a review meeting organised on the completion of Haj 2019 where he took stock of the preparations for next year’s pilgrimage.
The meeting was attended by senior officials from the ministries of External Affairs, Civil Aviation, Health, India’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Ausuf Sayeed and officials of the Haj Committee of India.