New Delhi, April 3
Four Americans, nine Britons and six Chinese nationals were among the 960 foreign Tablighi Jamaat activists who were blacklisted and their tourist visas cancelled by the Union Home Ministry, officials said on Friday.
The foreign Jamaat members, who are currently in different parts of the country, some of whom have tested positive for COVID-19, also include 379 Indonesians, 110 Bangladeshi, 63 Myanmarese and 33 Sri Lankan citizens.
As many as 77 citizens from Kyrgyzstan, 75 Malaysian, 65 Thai, 12 Vietnamese, nine Saudis and three French nationals were also among those Tablighi Jamaat activists who were blacklisted and their visas cancelled, a government official said.
Action against the foreign Tablighi Jamaat members were taken after over 2,300 activists, including 250 foreigners of the Islamic organisation were found to be living at its headquarters located at Delhi’s Nizamuddin despite the 21-day lockdown imposed to check the spread of coronavirus.
More than 300 of these Tablighi Jamaat activists have tested positive for COVID-19 while others have been put in different quarantine centres.
At least 9,000 people had participated at a congregation at the Nizamuddin Markaz last month after which many have travelled to various parts of the country for missionary works.
So far, around 400 COVID-19 positive cases and about 12 deaths in the country were found to have links with the Nizamuddin Markaz.
The other foreigners include seven from Alegria, one from Australia, two from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, three from Côte d’Ivoire, five from Djibouti, one from Egypt, three from Ethiopia, one from Fiji, three from Gambia, 24 from Iran and one from Jordan.
They also include 14 from Kazakhstan, one from Kenya, three from Madagascar, two from Mali, 10 from Philippines, three from Qatar, one from Russia, one from Senegal, one from Sierra Leone, one from South Africa, four from Sudan, one from Sweden, eight from Tanzania, one from Togo, three from Trinidad, three from Tobago, two from Tunisia, two from Ukraine, 12 from Vietnam and others six.
The Union Home ministry on Thursday had blacklisted these 960 foreigners and cancelled their visas after finding they were involved in Tablighi Jamaat activities, violating their visa conditions.
The Home ministry also asked Delhi Police and police chiefs of other states, where these foreigners are currently living, to take legal action under the Foreigners Act and the Disaster Management Act.
The Home Ministry on Tuesday had said about 2,100 foreigners have come to India since January 1 and indulged in Tablighi activities in different parts of the country.
On Thursday, the ministry said over 1,300 foreign Tablighi Jamaat activists, including those from the US, France and Italy, have been identified in different parts of the country and most of them have been put in quarantine.
Most of these foreigners came to India on tourist visa, which prohibits involvement in any religious activities.
The government has also decided not to issue tourist visa to any foreigner who wishes to visit India and take part in Tablighi activities.
Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba had also told states and UTs to take action against foreigners, who have participated in the missionary activities of the Tablighi Jamaat, in violation of visa conditions. PTI
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