3,927 umrah “pilgrims” did not return home

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Rozina Islam | Update: 12:19, Jun 04, 2015

A total of 3927 Bangladeshi hajj pilgrims, who went to Saudi Arabia to performumrah in past four months, did not return from Saudi Arabia.This is the highest numbers of Bangladeshis who did not come back home after theirumrah visas expired.

Of the trafficked, 992 persons went through Alite Travels, 939 through JeminyTravels, 253 through Rowshan Travels International, 241 through Three StarTravels, 215 through Fly Home, 182 through Anjan Air Travels, 182 KSP Travels, 77through Lord Travels, 68 Comilla Travels, 63 through Modina Air Travels Limited, 60through Farhan Aviation Service, 59 Eastern Travels, 37 through Rajshahi Travelsand Tours, 18 Hashim Air International, 16 through Kaniz Travels, 9 through Al-HajjTravels Trade, and 3 through Mims Travel and tours.

Bangladesh Hajj office at Jeddah forwarded a letter to Bangladesh religious affairsministry for taking actions against the agencies, which are behind the humantrafficking in disguise of umrah visa, and take back the Bangladeshis who areillegally residing in Saudi. If these demands are not met, Saudi goverment will stopissuing umrah visa to Bangladeshis.

The Jeddah office sent a list of 31 agencies to the country’s religious ministry.

A delegation of the religious ministry is set to travel Saudi in this regard. Anotherrepresentative’s team, led by the chairman of the parliamentary standing committeeon religious affairs Bazlul Haque Harun, will travel to Saudi Arabia today (Thursday).

The religious ministry said some travelling agencies are sending people to Saudi onumrah visa as the umrah pilgrims do not have to go through any police verificationand ministry certification.

Saudi Arabia closed the visa for Bangladeshi Umrah pilgrims on 22 March as nearly4000 Bangladeshi pilgrims did not return home after their travel permit expired.The Jeddah hajj office also said no umrah pilgrim will get visa to Saudi Arabia infuture if exemplary punishment has not been taken against the travelling agencies,which are trafficking people in disguise of umrah pilgrims.

The agencies are responsible to bring back the trafficked persons, the hajj officementioned in the letter. The Jeddah hajj office requested the ministry to createpressure on the agencies.

The Saudi government closed its five Hajj agencies in this connection.

The closed hajj agencies are Dallah General Service Company, Nazod GroupCompany, Shaghadif Transport Co, Al Musari For Umrah East, and Mutaleb Al-HarbiJoint Liability Company.