LUCKNOW: Eight Muslim women from Uttar Pradesh who had earlier applied to go on Haj pilgrimage with a Mehram (husband or a male first blood relation as guardian) had withdrawn their application.
According to the UP Haj Committee, at least 32 Muslim women had in past applied to go on Haj without a ‘mehram’.
The Central Haj Committee later cleared their application. However, eight women applicants have now withdrawn their application to go on Haj, leaving just 24 from the state.
Their sudden decision to withdraw Haj application has come as a big sock to the UP Haj Committee, which is mum on the issue.
Under the Government's new Haj Policy, those Muslim women who have applied to go for Haj without a ‘mehram’ this year will be exempted from the lucky draw system that the Haj Committee operates.
Normally, the Haj Committee of India (HCI) finalises the names of pilgrims who can go for Haj from the HCI quota through a lucky draw as it receives applications many times more than India’s fixed quota of around 1,70,000 pilgrims.
This implies that all the 1,300-odd women who have applied for Haj will be able to travel with no quota restrictions.
The announcement in this regard was made the Minority Affairs Ministry after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’, said that Muslim women should get equal opportunities as men.
As per the new Haj policy, women can now travel for Haj without a mehram in groups of four.
Earlier, women were barred from performing Haj alone.