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First batch of Haj pilgrims return to Kashmir amidst violence

Elaborate arrangements were made for the smooth movement of pilgrims to their respective destinations

Sunday August 18, 2019 9:52 PM, ummid.com & Agencies

Hajj Return Flight Kashmir

Srinagar: As many as 300 pilgrims returned to Kashmir Sunday amidst violence over abrogation of Article 370 which erupted soon after the government eased after over two weeks the restrictions imposed in the first week of August.

The Haj flight carrying first batch of around 300 pilgrims from Kashmir landed at Sheikh Ul-Alam International Airport in Srinagar in the morning Sunday.

"Elaborate arrangements were made for the smooth movement of pilgrims to their respective destinations", security officials told news agency Press Trust of India.

"Only one family member is allowed at the airport to receive the Hajis. A fleet of the State Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) buses has been deployed to facilitate the movement of Hajis and their relatives with the coordination of all district administrations," the officials said.

The security forces have been directed to allow passage of Hajj pilgrims and their relatives, who have already been issued passes, through the areas where restrictions are in place, the officials said.

Jammu and Kashmir has a quota of 9,773 pilgrims allotted to it based on the population of Muslims which stands at 85,67,485. However, with additional seats given to it, more than 10,000 pilgrims from Jammu and Kashmir performed Haj this year.

With the first flight landing at Sheikh Ul-Alam International Airport in Srinagar Sunday the Haj pilgrims who embarked to Makkah for Haj on July 04 have returned home.

According to the Hajj flight schedule released by the Haj Committee of India, the last return flight from Saudi Arabia to Srinagar will be on September 11, 2019.

Meanwhile following the violence, restrictions were reimposed in certain areas which witnessed trouble on Saturday after the curbs were eased in several areas of the city and elsewhere in the valley, the officials said.

Officials said protests took place at around a dozen places in which several protesters were injured. However, the exact number of injuries was not available, they added.

Jammu & Kashmir was in total lockdown condition since August 05 when abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution was taken up in the Parliament. Prior to that top local leaders, including Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, were kept under house arrest.

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