CM N Biren Singh with Hajj pilgrims at Tulihal International Airport in Imphal on Tuesday Credit: EastMojo image

Imphal: Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh on Tuesday flagged off the first batch of Muslim pilgrims from Manipur leaving for their annual pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia at Tulihal International Airport in Imphal.

Taking to his official Twitter handle, CM Singh said: “Went to bid farewell to the Hajj pilgrims from the State at Imphal International Airport where 460 pilgrims are leaving for the Holy city of Mecca.”

During the interaction with the pilgrims on Tuesday, the chief minister wished for their smooth journey and safe return.

According to the report, of the total 460 pilgrims, 223 are women, who were selected for the Hajj pilgrimage from the state under the Manipur State Haj Committee (MSHC) this year.

Led by MSHC chairperson Moulana Abdus Salam and Khadim-ul-Hujjaj Mohammed Rashid Ali, altogether 162 pilgrims left on Tuesday for Kolkata on different flights for their onward journey to the holy city of Mecca, according to the report.

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The second batch comprising 266 pilgrims will leave on Wednesday for Kolkata and station at Madinat-ul-Hujaj (Haj House) in the city before they leave for their destination on two flights on July 26, it said.

Meanwhile, Moulana Abdus Salam has been selected as the coordinator of Khadim cum Cleric by the Haj Committee of India, the report said.

In 2018, of the total 505 applications received by the Manipur State Haj Committee, 198 applicants were approved for the holy pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

The Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, considered to be the holiest city for Muslims. It is said to be a mandatory religious duty for all Muslim faithfuls to visit the holy city at least once in their lifetime.

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