New Delhi, Aug 4 (IANS) Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Thursday flagged off the first batch of Hajj pilgrims from Indira Gandhi International Airport here.
Extending good wishes on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and himself, Naqvi urged the Hajjis to pray for peace, prosperity, harmony and brotherhood in the nation and the entire world.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, Haj Committee of India Chairman Chaudhary Mehboob Ali Qaiser and Minority Affairs Ministry Secretary Rakesh Garg were present on the occasion.
A total of 340 pilgrims proceeded for Hajj in an early morning flight.
“For Hajj 2016, a total of 12,500 pilgrims will be proceeding from Delhi to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, by Air India’s 37 charter flights. Of these, 8,690 pilgrims are from Uttar Pradesh and the rest from Delhi, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand and Haryana,” officials said.
This year, the Hajj Committee of India would be facilitating the pilgrimage for a total of 1,00,020 Hajj pilgrims from 21 points across India, officials said.
Apart from this, 36,000 Hajj pilgrims will proceed through private tour operators.