410 pilgrims leave for Hajj without Saudi-end immigration

Pilgrims offer prayers before they depart for Saudi Arabia to perform hajj. The photo was yesterday taken inside a Biman aircraft, the first hajj flight of this year. Photo: PID

The first Biman flight carrying 410 pilgrims for this year's Hajj left Dhaka yesterday morning without the devotees completing their immigration procedures for the Saudi end, despite the government saying they would be able to do so.

The pilgrims raised the issue with State Minister for Civil Aviation M Mahbub Ali after he went to Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to see off the pilgrims.

Mahbub Ali said the technical delegation from Saudi Arabia -- which would conduct the immigration process -- was late to reach Dhaka, which is why immigration could not be started yesterday.

He assured that immigration formalities at the Saudi end will be completed at HSIA from today so that Bangladeshi devotees do not have to wait in long lines in Saudi Arabia.

However, pilgrims flying from Sylhet and Chattogram will not get this facility.

In 2019, immigration process of Bangladeshi pilgrims for the Saudi end was first completed from Dhaka on a limited scale.

The Hajj will be held in Saudi Arabia on July 8 subject to the sighting of the moon.

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