The Ministry of Home Affairs has decided to ban more than 2,200 blacklisted foreign nationals from entering India for 10 years for violating visa norms and getting involved in Tablighi Jamaat activities.
Earlier, the Modi government had blacklisted 960 foreigners in April, including four Americans, nine Britishers and six Chinese nationals who had attended the Nizamuddin Markaz on tourist visas.
In addition to the already blacklisted 960 foreigners members of the Tablighi Jamaat, more than 1,000 others have been banned from coming to India for violating visa norms by visiting the country on tourist and e-visas. In total, more than 2,200 foreign Tablighi Jamaat members have been banned by the MHA on Thursday.
The Delhi Police had earlier revealed that 960 foreigners, who had attended the controversial Islamic gathering had violated the conditions of their visas by joining the religious congregation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin, who was culpable for prosecution under Section 14 of the Indian Foreigners Act, 1946.
Hundreds of Tablighi Jamaat members from foreign nations were quarantined
The foreign Jamaat members, who were tested positive for the coronavirus were quarantined in different parts of the country. The blacklisted foreigners include 379 Indonesians, 110 belonged to Bangladesh, 63 to Myanmar and 33 from Sri Lanka.
Similarly, according to the government officials, 77 citizens from Kyrgyzstan, 75 Malaysian, 65 Thailand, 12 Vietnam nationals, 9 Saudis and 3 French nationals were also among those blacklisted for violating visa norms. They all be banned from entering India for the next 10 years
All the 960 foreign Tablighi members could now be deported as and when they complete the quarantine or the hospitalisation period and international flights resume.
Passports and documents of Tablighi Jamaat members seized
The Delhi Police Crime Branch had earlier seized passports and important documents of at least 700 Jamaat members. They were also interrogated over their involvement in the case. The Crime Branch had tried to find out that on what basis they have got the visa and who helped them in getting such a visa.
Similarly, the passports of 211 foreign nationals, out of 287, who had attended the religious congregation organised by Tablighi Jamaat at Nizamuddin Markaz between March 13 and March 15 have been seized by the Uttar Pradesh government.
Tablighi Jamaat event that became the coronavirus super-spreader in India.
The Tablighi jamaat event in Delhi was held in the month of March and had wreaked havoc in the country. The event produced more than 30 per cent of the total coronavirus cases in the country. The Markaz event was not only attended by Indian Muslims but also foreign nationals.
The alarm bells should have started ringing when seven Indonesian nationals associated with the organization tested positive for the Wuhan Coronavirus in Telangana after travelling from Delhi to Karimnagar for an Ijtema. However, it was only later that the full scope of the Tablighi Jamaat’s contribution to the spreading of the virus became prominent when nearly 300 Jamaatis in the Delhi’s Banglewali Masjid had to be taken to hospital for suspected coronavirus symptoms, many testing positive eventually.
The Health Ministry had revealed that nearly 30% i.e 4291 cases of the total 14,378 coronavirus cases detected up to mid-April were caused due to Nizamuddin Markaz event in Delhi by Tablighi Jamaat.
Speaking at a press conference, Joint Secretary in the Health Ministry Lav Agarwal said, out of total 14,378 cases, 4291 (29.8%) cases are related to Nizamuddin Markaz cluster from a ‘single source’ and affected at least 23 states and union territories.
He had also added that 84% cases in Tamil Nadu, 63% cases in Delhi, 79% cases in Telangana, 59% cases in Uttar Pradesh and 61% cases in Andhra Pradesh are related to the event.