Srinagar: A total of 7120 pilgrims from Jammu and Kashmir will perform the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia later this year, Haj and Auqaf Minister Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed said on Saturday.
Out of them, over 2600 have been selected through draw of lots held at Hajj house Bemina here, he said.
The minister, who presided over the function, said the state Hajj Committee had received 21692 applications this year from intending pilgrims but the Central Hajj Committee has allotted a quota of 7120 seats for Jammu and Kashmir.
A total of 1991 pilgrims, who have attained the age of 70 years, have been directly selected in accordance with the Central Hajj Committee guidelines, Sayeed said.
Another 2512 candidates have been included in the reserved quota as they had applied for the fourth time in succession but failed to get selected in the past, he said.
Keeping in view the demand for more seats, the minister said the state government had already approached the Central government for increase of quota for the state, Sayeed said.
It is likely that more seats will be allotted for accommodating left out intending Hajj pilgrims, he said.
Advising the pilgrims not to seek any assistance from private tour and travel operators for obtaining Hajj seat, the minister said the government is the only agency to send the people of the state for performing Hajj.
There is no other agency operating for the purpose, he said.