In a massive development on Thursday, the Ministry of Home Affairs 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.
गृह मंत्रालय द्वारा पर्यटक वीजा पर तब्लीगी गतिविधियों में लिप्त पाए जाने के कारण 960 विदेशियों को ब्लैक लिस्ट किया गया है और साथ ही उनका भारतीय वीजा भी रद्द कर दिया गया है।— गृहमंत्री कार्यालय, HMO India (@HMOIndia) April 2, 2020
गृह मंत्रालय द्वारा तब्लीगी जमात, निजामुद्दीन के मामले में दिल्ली पुलिस और अन्य सम्बंधित राज्यों के पुलिस महानिदेशकों को विदेशी अधिनियम,1946 एवं आपदा प्रबंधन अधिनियम,2005 के प्रावधानों का उल्लंघन करने के लिए 960 विदेशियों के विरुद्ध आवश्यक कानूनी कार्यवाई करने के निर्देश दिए हैं।— गृहमंत्री कार्यालय, HMO India (@HMOIndia) April 2, 2020
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.