Tablighi Jamaat event: Over 2,200 foreigners banned for 10 years
More than 2,200 foreign nationals, who attended an event organized by Tablighi Jamaat in Delhi, were banned from traveling to India for 10 years, ANI reported on Thursday, citing sources. The foreigners were earlier blacklisted by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for violating visa rules. They had been given tourist visas but indulged in missionary work, the MHA had said earlier.
How one event spelled doom for India's battle against COVID-19
In March, the sect organized an event in Delhi's Nizamuddin Markaz which was attended by hundreds of foreigners and thousands of Indians. It was only after several attendees tested positive for coronavirus that the government sprung to action. They possibly got infected from foreigners who arrived from coronavirus-affected nations. A massive contact-tracing exercise was launched by Centre and state governments.
Notably, the sect's chief didn't pay heed to government's pleas
It was also revealed that Maulana Saad Kandhalvi, the chief of the sect, was given two notices by Delhi Police asking to vacate the premises, but he didn't cooperate. The operation to vacate the building and send symptomatic attendees to quarantine in different facilities took several days. Separately, states also stepped up efforts to trace the attendees and get them tested.
Meanwhile, some Tablighi Jamaat members caused trouble to healthcare workers
While some Tablighis cooperated with authorities, others caused trouble. One such incident was reported from a state-run hospital MMG District Hospital in Ghaziabad, wherein members of the group roamed about semi-naked, crooned objectionable songs, and demanded cigarettes from nurses. After this incident, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said female staff won't be deployed to units, where Tablighis are being treated.
Earlier, MHA blacklisted 960 foreigners for violating visa rules
In April, the MHA cracked its whip on foreigners, saying 960 of them broke visa guidelines and blacklisted them. The list reportedly included four Americans, nine British, six Chinese, 379 Indonesians, 110 Bangladeshi, 63 Myanmarese, and 33 Sri Lankans. 77 from Kyrgyzstan, 75 from Malaysia, 65 from Thailand, 12 from Vietnam, 9 from Saudi Arabia, and three French nationals were also blacklisted.