Muslims protest against Corrupt Hajj Officials

In India, where corruption is rampant, probably this is the first time that it is criticised by political leaders. The Muslim leaders also, cutting across their party lines criticised the state Hajj committee officials caught taking bribes in a sting operation run by CNN-IBN recently.

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In India, where corruption is rampant, probably this is the first time that it is criticised by political leaders. The Muslim leaders also, cutting across their party lines criticised the state Hajj committee officials caught taking bribes in a sting operation run by CNN-IBN recently.

The report by CNN-IBN of bungling in the lottery draw to select the pilgrims under the government’s subsidised scheme for 100,000 poor Muslims each year left even Union Minister of Minority Affairs A.R. Antulay observe that it “makes every Muslim hang his head in shame.”

The minister favoured Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the matter. Central Hajj Committee member Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi too condemned the corrupt practice saying that the body would convene a meeting to deliberate upon the irregularities. He however said the matter did not warrant a probe by the CBI.

The Himachal Pradesh government took prompt action against the corrupt officials. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh in the state assembly on December 28 announced the dismissal of two Haj Committee officials, the State Haj committee chairman Maulana Mumtaz Ahmed Kazmi and member Nizakat Ali.