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Saudi nod for India's plan to ferry Haj pilgrims via sea route: Naqvi

The practice of ferrying Haj pilgrims between Mumbai and Jeddah by waterways existed earlier too, but was stopped from 1995

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Saudi Arabia's Haj and Umrah minister Dr Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten speaks while India's Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi looks on during the signing of the bilateral Haj Agreement signing between India and Saudi Arabia, in Makka
Saudi Arabia's Haj and Umrah minister Dr Mohammad Saleh bin Taher Benten speaks while India's Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi looks on during the signing of the bilateral Haj Agreement signing between India and Saudi Arabia, in Makka. Photo: PTI

has given its nod to India's plan to revive the option of ferrying pilgrims via sea route to Jeddah, Abbas said in a statement today.

made the comment after the signing of annual agreement between and in

"has given its nod to revive the option of sending pilgrims by sea route...Officials from both the countries willdiscuss all the necessary formalities and technicalities so that pilgrimage through sea route can be started in the coming years," said according to the statement.

Naqvi said that sending pilgrims through ships would help cut down significantly and added that it would be a "revolutionary, pro-poor, pilgrim-friendly decision".

The practice of ferrying Haj pilgrims between and by waterways existed earlier too, but was stopped from 1995.

Naqvi also said that for the first time Muslim women from will go to Haj without 'Mehram' (male companion).

"Separate accommodation and transport have been arranged for these woman Haj pilgrims in Saudi Arabia and woman Haj assistants will be deployed for their assistance," he added.

More than 1,300 women have applied to go for Haj without 'Mehram'. All these women will be exempted from lottery system and allowed to proceed to Haj, he added.

Women above 45 years of age, who wish to go for Haj but who don't have a male companion, are allowed to travel for Haj in groups of four or more women according to the new Haj policy of

First Published: Mon, January 08 2018. 15:44 IST
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