Those who were planning to embark on their Haj 2020 pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia might have to wait longer than they think. India announces that it will not be sending pilgrims this year and that Haj 2020 is cancelled in light of the pandemic. Here is what you need to know. By Amitha Ameen

 

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Saudi Arabia recently announced that it will only be allowing a limited number of pilgrims this year, owing to the Coronavirus pandemic. Shortly after, the Indian government also decided to cancel Haj 2020 for Indian pilgrims and refund their application money without any deductions.

“We have decided that Haj pilgrims from India will not be sent to Saudi Arabia for Haj 2020. Application money for more than 2.3 lakh pilgrims will be returned without cancellation deductions through a direct transfer,” said Union Minister for Ministry Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.

 

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Earlier in the year, the Indian government had made applications for Haj pilgrimage easy by making it 100 per cent digital for applicants. This was done in order to remove any middlemen, making the process much more affordable and easy for the pilgrims.

As for allowing pilgrims to enter Saudi Arabia, the country is yet to specify the exact number of pilgrims who will be permitted. The Haj has never been cancelled in nearly 90 years since its establishment. Official authorities said that this decision of limiting pilgrims was made to ensure the Haj is performed in a safe and hygienic manner.

Related: Applying For Haj Pilgrimage 2020 Made Easy With Online Facility