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First batch of 300 Uttar Pradesh pilgrims leaves for Haj

A picture taken on September 9, 2016 shows a general view of Muslim pilgrims from all around the world circling around the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque, in the Saudi city of Mecca. The annual Hajj pilgrimage begins on September 10, and more than a million Muslims have already flocked to Saudi Arabia in preparation for what will for many be the highlight of their spiritual lives. / AFP PHOTO / AHMAD GHARABLI

Lucknow: The first batch of 300 Haj pilgrims let for Saudi Arabia from the Chowdhary Charan Singh international airport here on Monday.

The pilgrims were flagged off from the Haj House by Minority Welfare Minister Chowdhary Laxmani Narayan Singh, who was accompanied by his deputy Mohsin Raza and other senior officials while family members and relatives of the pilgrims turned up in large numbers to wish their loved ones well.

While for the last several years, the Chief Minister had been flagging off the first batch of the Haj pilgrims, this time round, present incumbent Yogi Adityanath gave the event a miss.

Officials said Adityanath had flown off to New Delhi to meet BJP President Amit Shah and to attend the swearing-in of new President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday.

This year, in all 29,441 people will leave for the Haj pilgrimage from Uttar Pradesh. Of these, 12,414 will take the flight from Lucknow while the rest will fly for Saudi Arabia from Varanasi and New Delhi.

IANS