Saudi govt ignoring Indian Hajis, Azam writes to PM

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Minister for Minority Welfare and Haj Azam Khan in a letter to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has sought his personal intervention for redressal of the grievances of Uttar Pradesh pilgrims during Haj.

Khan, who has performed Haj this year, has blamed the Indian embassy and Saudi Arabian government for ignoring Indian Haj pilgrims mainly from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Khan has urged the PM for contacting the Saudi Arabian government to limit the number of Haj pilgrims and provide them all facilities for which payment is made by pilgrims.

Khan has also mentioned that the Indian embassy hires people from Pakistan and Bangladesh for working as drivers and for various other tasks and that they ill-treat Indian pilgrims. There should be a complete restriction on hiring such people.

He also stated that pilgrims from Kerala are given preferential treatment as Keralites are present in good numbers in the embassy and other posts related to management of Haj. UP, which sends the highest number of pilgrims, is given a step-motherly treatment, he has written, demanding appropriate representation of all states in the management of Haj pilgrimage.

Khan has invited Dr Manmohan Singh for a national-level convention proposed for February-March in Lucknow to hold talks on the hardships faced by Haj pilgrims from UP and Bihar.

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