On June 15, the Hajj Committee of India cancelled all applications for Hajj 2021. The decision was made based on the announcement by Saudi Arabia in which they decided to allow only citizens and residents to attend Hajj in limited numbers amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
The circular issued by the Hajj Committee stated, “The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia issued a statement informing that due to coronavirus pandemic conditions the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has decided to allow citizens and residents inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia only to attend Hajj 1442 in limited numbers. International Hajj has been cancelled. Hence, it has been decided by the Hajj Committee of India that all the applications for Hajj 2021 stand cancelled.”
Saudi Arabia had banned foreign pilgrims
On June 12, Saudi Arabia had announced that Hajj 2021 would be a relatively smaller gathering limited to 60,000 pilgrims. It further added that only citizens and residents of Saudi Arabia would be allowed for Hajj due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. In 2020 as well, the pilgrimage was limited due to the pandemic. Only as few as a thousand people were selected to take part in the pilgrimage. Reportedly, every year over 2 million Muslims performs Hajj. Most Muslims perform it only once in their lifetime. According to their belief, it wipes clean past sins.