960 Tablighi foreigners blacklisted, visas cancelled by MHA
NEW DELHI : In a massive development on Thursday, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) blacklisted 960 foreigners who were involved in Tablighi Jamaat activities despite being on a tourist visa. Moreover, their Indian visa has been cancelled.
The MHA directed the Delhi Police and DGPs of all concerned states to take legal action against these foreigners for violating the provisions of Foreigners Act, 1946 and the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
The controversy erupted when 24 people who had attended the religious congregation at Markaz Nizamuddin in Mid-March tested positive for COVID-19. Thousands of people who participated in the event travelled to various states in India, risking the spread of the novel coronavirus. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, 1746 individuals including 216 foreigners were staying in the Markaz building as of March 21.
As per the Delhi government, the religious congregation violated the prevailing orders, which prohibited large gatherings. However, the Markaz claimed that it had not flouted the rules and discontinued the religious function after the announcement of the nationwide lockdown. Instead, it alleged that many of the attendees were stuck due to the unavailability of transport services.
On Tuesday, the Delhi Police registered a case against Maulana Saad and other officials of Tablighi Jamaat for violating the restriction pertaining to a religious gathering. Sections under the Epidemic Disease Act,1897 and Section 269, 270, 271 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code have been invoked. In the FIR, it has been stated that the congregation failed to take safety measures for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
Addressing the media on Thursday, Lav Aggarwal- the Joint Secretary in the Union Health Ministry revealed that at least 400 out of the 1965 cases are linked with the Markaz Nizamuddin cluster.
The sudden jump in cases is linked to the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi’s Nizamuddin which was attended by around 3,400 people in early March. The authorities are also working to trace more of these people who attended the event in order to prevent the jump in confirmed cases.
The total number of active novel coronavirus cases in the country stand at 1,764 in the country while the death tally is at 50, according to latest information on the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s website.
Pan-India searches are being carried out in mosques and other locations to trace the Tablighi Jamaat members. In Delhi, 17 mosques with 168 foreigners have been identified. Some have been traced and sent to quarantine centres.
Foreign Tablighi Jamaat members travelled extensively to states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Odisha, and Andhra Pradesh among other parts of the country. Delhi reports 141 new coronavirus cases in last 24 hours, 129 linked to Jamaat event
Delhi has reported 141 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. With this, the total number of cases in Delhi has reached 293. Out of the 141 cases, 129 are linked to Nizamuddin Markaz alone.
Tamil Nadu: 309 total positives cases, 264 linked to Jamaat event
Tamil Nadu has reported a total of 309 cases, out of which, 264 are linked to the Tablighi Jamaat event of Delhi’s Nizamuddin area. Approximately 1,500 people from the state had attended the event, out of which, 1,103 have been traced, put in quarantine and tested.
(With Agency Inputs ).