Haj pilgrims from the City found to their horror that their money, passports and travel documents have been swiped.
Nearly 20 men and women from the City who had saved for a year to fulfil their heart’s desire to go on Haj pilgrimage find themselves grounded.
They had no inkling till this morning that the agent Sayed Khan of Old City had vanished with all their money (amounting to Rs.25 lakh) and travel documents without a trace. His family, besieged by shrieking victims, is spending sleepless nights praying for his return, sources said.
According to details, Khan, a resident of Ahmed Colony in Toli Chowki, was running a travel agency at Hussaini Alam for the past few years.
In July and August this year, he had taken lakhs of rupees from prospective Haj pilgrims and promised them their flight would leave on October 23 at 5.30am.
The unsuspecting pilgrims reached the airport but found to their horror no such flight was scheduled.
The last flight for Haj had left on Saturday. The frantic pilgrims tried to call the agent on his mobile which responded with a reply, “out of reach.” Some others got a message of switched off. Some of the relatives of the victims rushed to his office and found it locked. There was nobody to answer about Khan’s whereabouts.
They dashed to his home in Toli Chowki where his wife and children expressed their helplessness as they too did not know where he was. In fact, they swore they came to know of the scandal only now.
Shahzadi Begum, a widow and a resident of Ali Nagar Jahanuma told Postnoon that she had saved for many years for this momentous occasion but now is left devastated.
The other prospective pilgrims too were in a similar situation. They are now planning to lodge a criminal complaint.
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I have been working as a crime reporter in Hyderabad for the past 17 years. I was encouraged to be a journalist by my late father. As a journalist I try to do something unique for society, especially the poor who suffer the most.