Hyderabad: Some people intending to go on pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia and Iran are getting cheated by tour operators who are offering them throwaway prices. Cases are coming to the fore in the city after such operators failed to arrange travel for the Umrah pilgrimage and duped the intended pilgrims after collecting money.
The Dabeerpura police registered two cases against KSS Tour Operators for allegedly duping the public. A few hundred persons turned up at the police station demanding action against the company.
Similar cases are reported round the year from the city involving tour operators who in most cases not hold licences and just tie up with established tour operators on commission basis.
In the Dabeerpura case, the intended pilgrims paid between Rs 18,000 and Rs 35,000 each to the tour operator through his agents.
“The pilgrimage costs between Rs 55,000 and Rs 80,000 and even more depending upon the pilgrimage season and facilities asked for. Some fly-by-night operators offer the pilgrimage at half the cost, collect the money and disappear,” said Mr Mohammed Siraj Khan, general secretary, the Haj and Umrah tour organisers’ association.
He said that these operators do not have licences issued by the government or local agencies.
“Still, they collect money and promise that they will organise the Umrah pilgrimage at a cost of Rs 20,000 to Rs 25,000. We cannot even get an air ticket at that price,” he said.
Mr Syed Ali Jafery, a private tour operator and a Shia leader, said operators collect low amounts by telling them that the rest of the money is being paid by charitable organisations who are sponsoring the pilgrimage....