Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi flagged off the first batch of Haj pilgrims from Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi yesterday.

419 Haj pilgrims including 202 women left from Delhi in the first flight.

These Haj pilgrims are from Aligarh, Agra, Meerut, Rampur and Bulandshahar in Uttar Pradesh.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Naqvi said, for the first time a record number of two lakh Indian Muslims are going for Haj this year without any subsidy.

He said an honest and transparent system developed by the government has ensured that even after removal of Haj subsidy, there is no unnecessary financial burden on Haj pilgrims.

A total of 2,340 Muslim women from the country will go for Haj without Mehram this year, while 1180 women had performed Haj last year without Mehram.