Govt sent 1,918 to Hajj in seven years

A total of 1,918 Muslim devotees, including 254 last year, have performed hajj in seven years at the cost of the government.

State minister for religious affairs Faridul Haque Khan disclosed the matter on Sunday at national parliament at the question-answer session with speaker Shirin Sharmin Choudhury in the chair.    

In reply to the question of lawmaker Didarul Alam, the state minister said since 2014, the government has been sending a specific number of pilgrims to Saudi Arabia every year at its own cost to perform hajj.

However, due to the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, the government couldn't send anyone to the holy city of Makkah to perform the holiest ritual of Muslim Ummah. 

Except for these years, 1,918 people went to Makkah to perform hajj in the last seven years: 125 in 2014, 268 in 2015, 283 in 2016, 334 in 2017, 340 in 2018, 314 in 2019 and 254 in 2022.

While responding to the question of lawmaker AKM Ramatullah, the state minister said Imam and Muazzin are being recruited under the project of setting up 564 model mosques and Islamic cultural centres across the country. The process of paying honorarium to 1,128 Imams and Muazzins is underway.   

Apart from this, the salaries of three khatibs and six pesh imams of Dhaka's Baitul Mukarram National Mosque, Chattogram's Anderkilla Shahi Jame Mosque and Jamiatul Falah Mosque are paid by the government.

Quoting the statistics bureau in 2011, Faridul Haque Khan said the number of Hindu stands at 12.5 million in the country.