Don’t cheat Hajj pilgrims: President

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Dhaka, July 02: President Abdul Hamid on Tuesday warned against negligence, irregularities and corruption in Hajj management saying that individuals, agencies and institutions involved in such practices will be punished.He said this while delivering his speech during the inaugural ceremony of the Hajj programme-2019 at the Hajj Camp in Dhaka’s Ashkona in the afternoon, UNB reports.

He also met the pilgrims.

“You make profit from Hajj pilgrims. Don’t cheat them. It’s very sensitive,” the President said.

He warned that anyone found guilty of mismanagement will be punished.

President Hamid also urged concerned ministries to ensure punishment for government employees for negligence, irregularities and corruption in Hajj management.

He praised the role of private Hajj agencies in Hajj management.

“More than 95 percent Hajj pilgrims go to Saudi Arabia through Hajj agencies. From the previous experience, it’s been seen that many agencies don’t keep their word to the pilgrims after reaching Mecca-Madina. As a result, the pilgrims have to face trouble,” the President said.

He said that when Hajj pilgrims face problems, they observe various programmes including hunger strikes. “Such activities hurt the country’s image. Such fraudulence with the pilgrims isn’t desirable,” President Hamid said.

The head of the state also requested HAAB (Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh) representatives to ensure proper management so that Hajj pilgrims do not face any harassment in Mecca-Madina.

“You (the pilgrims) will meet brothers and sisters from different countries of the world. This brotherhood plays an important role in the bonding of harmony with each other. As goodwill ambassadors of Bangladesh, you’ll highlight Bangladesh.

You should be cautious about your language and behaviour so that others don’t get any negative message,” he said.

This year’s Hajj flights will start from July 4 and continue until August 5.

A total of 127,198 pilgrims will perform Hajj this year. The national flag carrier will transport half of them.

From now on, Bangladeshi pilgrims can complete the immigration procedure from Dhaka airport before heading to Saudi Arabia.

Earlier, pilgrims were required to wait in the aircraft after landing in Saudi Arabia to complete the procedure – sometimes for up to six hours.