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Detained Indian pilgrim released to join Haj

Jeddah: An Indian Haj pilgrim who was detained for an old case has been released after hectic efforts made by the Indian Embassy in Riyadh.

The Haj pilgrim, hailing from Chahatarpur in Madhya Pradesh, along with his wife arrived in Jeddah to perform Haj five days ago. He was detained immediately upon arrival.

However, the family claims that he has never been in Saudi Arabia or any other country and is working as a government employee in India itself and, the family alleged that it could be a mismatch of information that landed him into trouble.

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His wife was shocked with sudden development and came to know after four days that her husband was shifted to the eastern province where he is wanted in a case pertaining to 16 years old, according to the family.

Disgruntled family knocked on the door of the Indian Embassy in Riyadh since the Eastern province area falls under its jurisdiction.

The family categorically denied that their beloved one was in Saudi Arabia or for that matter abroad. “Our father is a government employee, where obtaining a No Objection Certificate is mandatory for applying for Passport. He applied only this time too for Haj, he has never been to Saudi Arabia or any other country”, his son explained, in a letter to the Indian Embassy.

When the case came into notice of Indian Ambassador Sohail Ajaz Khan, he promptly responded, and a battery of his team led by second secretary Moin Akhtar plunged into action.

Since the pilgrim came with the intention of his lifetime dream of Haj, embassy officials worked hard to secure his release to achieve his ultimate goal of Haj.

Indian Embassy volunteer and noted community worker Haneefa Muvattupuzha also joined sustained efforts of the embassy that ensured release of the pilgrim. He was also visiting daily to console and boost the morale of the pilgrim who was in a state of despair.

“The tour operator can request their Mollim or local Haj or Umrah operator to secure temporary bail to fulfill the intention of Haj or Umrah of the pilgrim who is wanted by authorities”, Haneefa explained.

The released pilgrim said that still he did not believe that he was detained and shifted to 1300 KM away, Al Ahsa.

“I thank the Embassy for supporting me in my difficult hours, and also Haneefa for his humanitarian gesture”, he added.

The pilgrim left Al Ahsa on Sunday on way to Makkah to fulfill his life dream of Haj.

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