First batch of Haj pilgrims to fly on Aug 27

The first batch of Haj pilgrims from the State will leave for Saudi Arabia from Mangalore on August 27, Haj Minister Roshan Baig said on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters after a review meeting with the airport authorities, immigration and customs officials, and the police, Baig said as many as 5,024 pilgrims had been selected from the State this year for the Haj pilgrimage. He said the batch from Bangalore would leave for Saudi Arabia by a direct flight on September 12.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has been invited to flag off the inaugural flight, he said.

Baig said the pilgrims could access four embarkation points, including two outside the State.

While pilgrims from across the State can access the Bangalore embarkation point, those from Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu, Udupi, Hassan and Chikmagalur can access the Mangalore embarkation point.

Pilgrims from Gulbarga, Yadgir, Bidar and Raichur can access the Hyderabad embarkation point, and people from Belgaum and Uttara Kannada can access the Goa embarkation point.

All the pilgrims will have to undergo vaccination and orientation programmes, the minister said.

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