NEW DELHI: The Government of India has ‘banned’ over 2,550 blacklisted foreign nationals for 10 years from travelling to India for their involvement in Tablighi Jamaat activities, said the government sources here on Thursday.
It means that none of them would be allowed in any circumstances to travel to India as a visa will not be issued to them. In April this year, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had blacklisted 960 foreigners for violating visa rules after they were found involved in Tablighi activities.
“Under the directions of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the MHA has blacklisted 960 foreigners, present in India on tourist visas, for their involvement in Tablighi Jamaat activities,” Home Ministry had said in April.
These foreigners were involved in Tablighi activities and went to Delhi’s Nizamuddin Markaz, which became the major source of spreading COVID-19.
The Home Ministry had earlier said that about 2,100 foreigners visited India for activities of the organisation since January 1 this year. “While approximately 824 of them, as on March 21, were dispersed in different parts of the country, 216 of them were staying at Nizamuddin Markaz. Others might have left the country before the lockdown,” the MHA had said.
A large number of Indian Tablighi Jamaat workers were also involved in the activities of the organisation in different parts of the country. Details of these 824 foreigners had been shared on March 21 with the state police forces for identifying them, getting them medically screened and quarantining them.
The MHA had sent an advisory to all states in this regard on March 28 and March 29. On March 28, the MHA issued a detailed advisory to Chief Secretaries and DGPs of all states, as well as CP Delhi, on this issue.
The State DGPs were again advised by the Director of the Intelligence Bureau on March 29 to trace the movement of all such Tablighi workers in their areas, ascertain the people coming in their contacts and take steps for their medical screening.
According to a PTI report, a total of 2,550 foreign Tablighi Jamaat members, who were staying in India during the countrywide lockdown implemented to combat the outbreak of coronavirus, have been blacklisted by the Home Ministry. These people will not be allowed to enter into India for next 10 years, the news report said quoting MHA officials.
A large congregation organised by the Tablighi Jamaat in the Nizamuddin area of the national capital New Delhi in March had emerged as a major hotspot of Covid-19 in the country. Some of the participants, who were later tested positive for coronavirus, had travelled to their home states across the length and breadth of the country.
The decision of banning the foreign Tablighi Jamaat members was taken after details of the foreigners found illegally living in mosques and religious places emerged from across the states in India.
Thousands of coronavirus cases in India tracing back to the congregations held in March at the Markaz, which is the global headquarters of Tablighi Jamaat in Delhi, has put the place in the spotlight.
The sect’s leadership is already being probed for violating norms under the epidemic diseases law while its volunteers from abroad have been booked for violating visa norms and the Foreigners Act. (ANI)