The government on Wednesday issued an order immediately deporting all the foreigners who were a part of the Tabligh Jamaat, if they are tested negative for the Coronavirus. According to sources, the government has also ordered all states and union territories to carry out a thorough screening of the foreign Jamaat workers.
According to an advisory issued by the government, the foreign teams of the Jamaat are on a tour to the hinterland of India, becoming the potential carries of the virus. It stated that the Jamaat activists from India had attended a religious event from February 27 to March 1 in Malaysia. Further, currently, there are around 2,000 foreigners on tourist visas from over 70 countries spread all over the country for the Tabligh work.
A religious program was organized at Tablighi Jamaat's headquarters Markaz Nizamuddin mosque between 13-15 March which was attended by over three thousand people, from India and abroad, who since dispersed. After attending the meeting, which took place prior to the nationwide lockdown but after the Delhi government's own directive against such gatherings, many of the attendees returned to other parts of the country, with the spread of the COVID-19 virus now being confirmed from numerous states as a result.
A case was registered by the Delhi Police 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. In an alleged audiotape of the Markaz accessed by Republic, a preacher is telling people that the Coronavirus is a conspiracy to disrupt their way of life, going on to make statements against science and general guidelines of public health at a time like this.