October 9, 2019

Amid internet blockade, Hajj aspirants unable to fill online application forms

Government should come up with facilitation centers at every district headquarter: Aspirants

Srinagar: Amid communication blockade, the Hajj aspirants of year 2020 are facing acute hardships as authorities have directed to fill application forms online from October 10, 2019. Aspirants have expressed their dismay over the move and have appealed government to establish facilitation counters in every district of Kashmir Valley or to accept traditional method of hand-filled forms.

According to Kashmir News Service (KNS), Hajj aspirants of year 2020 in Kashmir Valley are facing acute hardships right now to fill the Hajj applications online. They have expressed their disappointment and have questioned over government’s announcement amid continuous internet breakdown.

Notably prior to abrogation of Article 370 and 35A by central government on August 5, this year, authorities have snapped landline, mobile and internet service in Jammu and Kashmir to thwart any design by anti-peace elements. Though the services were restored in Jammu region after some weeks, but the services in Kashmir Valley is yet to get restored due to which people from all walks of life are facing immense trouble.

As per reports, the Union Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbass Naqvi had said that the application forms for Hajj 2020 will be available online from October 10, 2019.

After the announcement those wishing to perform Hajj next year have expressed their dismay over government’s move. As per reports they are running from pillar to post but gets zero reddressal of their problems.

They said, amid continuous blockade of internet services in Kashmir Valley, how it is possible for aspirants that they will fill online application forms. They termed the government’s move a ‘cruel joke’.

One of the aspirants Ghulam Mohi-ud-din Buchh, of Shalimar area has said that the situation in Kashmir Valley is bad. Since August 5, 2019, Kashmiris have been deprived from all facilities and communication service is one of them.

He said “the decision of filling application forms through online by union ministry seemed that they are quite unaware about the ground situation of Kashmir. Don’t they know Kashmir is witnessing communication breakdown after 370 revoked? Are they joking with people of Kashmir amid uncertain situation?”.

It is pertinent to mention here Union Ministry of Minority Affairs had said that all formalities would be online and all aspirants would get e-viza’s onwards. He also said that from October 10. 2019, application forms will be available online which can be filled also from mobile apps.

Bucch, an aspirant has said that government should desist from the latest move of filling application forms online as it is obvious that since two months Kashmir has been deprived from cellular and internet services. He appealed government that either it should restore the internet services in Kashmir Valley without any further delay or should accept hand-filled application forms.

Another aspirant Tariq Ahmad Bhat from Pulwama has said that in the backdrop of communication blackout, government should establish internet facilitation centers at every district headquarter so that aspirants can reach there to fulfill application forms.

He said “this is for the first time aspirants have been asked to file application forms online but keeping in view the ground situation, government shouldn’t ignore the wishes and aspirations of Hajj aspirants”. (KNS)

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