‘Efforts on to bring back stranded Haj pilgrims’
New Delhi: Government on Tuesday said steps are being taken to bring back Haj pilgrims, who are stranded in Jeddah due to non-availability of flights.
"I have spoken to Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel and the government is taking all steps to bring stranded Haj pilgrims back," Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi told reporters outside Parliament.
A large number of Indian Haj pilgrims are stranded in Jeddah.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had recently written to the Prime Minister seeking his intervention in the matter.
"The Haj pilgrims from Rajasthan were forcefully evicted from their temporary dwelling units on November 21 in
Mecca for the return journey, and were shifted to Jeddah airport, thus, causing them great inconvenience," Gehlot had said.
"Flights to India are not available for them at Jeddah. These pilgrims were not being taken care of by the Indian Consulate in Jeddah and are left unattended at the Jeddah airport," he had said.
Asked how soon the stranded pilgrims would be brought back, Ravi said, "It all depends upon the availability of flights. We are putting pressure on A-I to operate as many flights as possible to bring them back."