Monday, August 19, 2019 | ePaper

Visa crisis

82 Hajj pilgrims' fate uncertain

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Staff Reporter :
Due to server's problem of Saudi Arabian embassy, 82 Bangladeshi hajj pilgrims did not get visa in time though their air tickets were confirmed.
Now all 82 pilgrims from three agencies are passing time with tension and uncertainty at city's Ashkona Hajj Camp after missing their scheduled flights.
Of them, all 82 passengers including 67 from Minar Air Travels scheduled to flight was Biman Bangladesh Airlines BG3033 on Tuesday. Though the concern agencies submitted all necessary documents to the embassy on time.
Sources said the server system of Saudi Arabian embassy in Dhaka on July 15 and 16 falls on online problem. Due to this sudden problem, the embassy could not issue visa against 82 Bangladeshi. Letter two days on Wednesday when the embassy issued visa against the aspirant, they did not getting flight schedule due to no vacancy.  
As a result, when that missing hajj pilgrim would to fly for Saudi Arabia no body confirmed yet.
 "I'm trying to from my level best with the help of ministry and airlines to send 82 pilgrims to Mecca who already have missed their schedule flight. But I could not confirm anything before getting seat in flights," M Shahdat Hossain Taslim, President of Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (HAAB) told The New Nation on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Religious Affairs Ministry has asked all 598 Hajj agencies to complete the Hajj visa processing seven days before the scheduled flights. The ministry also requested them to contact the Saudi Arabian embassy in Dhaka and the Ashkona Hajj Camp's director immediately in case of any problem.
The agencies served an emergency notice on Wednesday signed by Abdullah Arif Mohammed, Senior Assistant Secretary of the ministry, sources said.
"If any negligence or irrigularites of agencies are found in the visa processing, exemplary punishment would be taken against the related agency and they will be black listed for 2020 session", the ministry also warned.

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