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BIG: MHA Blacklists 960 Foreigners Involved In Tablighi Activities On A Tourist Visa

On Thursday, the MHA blacklisted 960 foreigners who were involved in Tablighi Jamaat activities despite being on a tourist visa and cancelled their visas

Written By
Akhil Oka

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. 

Read: Centre Contacts Foreign Envoys To Seek Info About Markaz Attendees; Action Likely: Sources

Read: 'Permission For Rapid Testing Granted; 1300 Markaz Attendees Traced': Maha Health Minister

The Markaz Nizamuddin controversy

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. 

Read: 22 Foreign Markaz Attendees Yet To Be Traced; Ban On Ram Navami Celebrations: Bihar DGP

Read: Nizamuddin Markaz Chief Maulana Saad Issues Statement: 'Not Underground, Framing Response'

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