Chennai

Ten Malaysians defied lockdown in bid to fly out

The foreign nationals engaged a van from Tenkasi to get to city

Ten Malaysian nationals, caught on Sunday before boarding a flight to Kuala Lumpur, have been lodged in a quarantine ward at Poonamallee.

They engaged a private van and travelled to the city from Tenkasi despite the lockdown in place across the State, an investigation has revealed.

Their names figured in a list of foreign nationals who attended a religious congregation in Delhi. They had arrived in the country on a tourist visa. After the congregation, they took a train to Chennai and thereafter proceeded to Tenkasi.

“They were involved in religious activities in Tenkasi, Courtallam and Vallam, assisted by two locals, until March 26. Later, they hired a van for ₹10,000 from Tenkasi. They managed to reach Chennai in the hope of flying out of the country despite restrictions imposed on the movement of people,” a senior police officer said.

On receipt of information, immigration, health and police officials stopped them before boarding a Batik Air special flight to Kuala Lumpur.

“They came on a tourist visa and were involved in preaching. This is a violation of the conditions of the visa issued to them for entry and stay in India. Moreover, they violated prohibitory orders imposed by the government. We have arrested them and lodged them at a quarantine centre. Further investigation is on to find out who else is involved in facilitating their travel,”the senior police officer added.

The 10 Malaysians were booked under Sections 188 (Disobedience to an order lawfully promulgated by public servant), 269 (Negligently doing any act known to be likely to spread infection), 271 (Knowingly disobeying any quarantine rule) of IPC and provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act, T.N. Public Health Act, National Disaster Management Act and Foreigners Act.

10 Indonesians booked

Kancheepuram district police have booked 10 Indonesians who came on a tourist visa but were involved in missionary activities, in contravention of the Foreigners Act. They were lodged at a quarantine facility near Sriperumbudur after one of them tested positive for COVID-19.

“They all attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi last month. About 10 Indonesians and four Malaysians reached here. Staying at a mosque in the town, they were preaching. They also went door to door,” said a police officer.

Based on a complaint given by the village administrative officer, they were booked for violation of the Foreigners Act, 1946 and other offences.

Police said they have also booked two more persons who had sheltered them after the 12 people were found in a mosque in Kancheepuram town and were later shifted to the quarantine centre near Sriperumbudur.

Meanwhile, Maduranthakam police booked cases against eight Indonesians, including four women who stayed at a mosque and were involved in missionary activities.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 2:05:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/ten-malaysians-defied-lockdown-in-bid-to-fly-out/article31274800.ece

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