Bhubaneswar, Sept 5 (LocaLWire): The state Haj committee constituted under the provisions of the Haj Committee Act, 2002, is currently lying defunct for the past year.
The three-year tenure of the committee constituted in 2015 came to an end in 2018 but the state government is yet to reconstitute the committee, triggering resentment among the Muslim community.
‘The state Haj committee is a key body constituted under an Act passed in the Assembly.
Every practicing Muslim, desires to undertake this pilgrimage.
The committee acts as a facilitator for Haj. The body needs to be reconstituted,’ said a minority community representative, Mohammad Akbar Ali.
The Haj committee which sits twice a year, looks after the preparation of the Haj journey for the pilgrims, management of the pilgrimage workshop and training of the pilgrims about Haj rituals and also vaccinate them before departure to Mecca and Madina.
Official sources said the number of pilgrims registered a 13% rise in the state in comparison to the preceding year.
In 2018, 730 pilgrims, including 298 women, selected by the Haj committee had taken the pilgrimage, while in 2017 the number of Haj pilgrims was 556.
The state Haj board deputed four officials to Mecca to ensure the safety and security of the pilgrims.
The state has released grants to the tune of Rs 2.71 crore for the functioning of the Haj board since 2010, the officials added.