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Coronavirus outbreak | MHA blacklists 960 foreigners for Tablighi ties

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has blacklisted 960 foreigners, present in India on tourist visas, for their involvement in Tablighi Jamaat activities, Union Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted on Thursday.

Explained | Who are the Tablighi Jamaat?

‪MHA has also directed the Directors General of Police of all the concerned States and Union Territories including Delhi Police to take necessary legal action against all such violators, on priority, under relevant sections of the Foreigners Act, 1946, and Disaster Management Act, 2005, Mr. Shah said in his tweet. The visas issued to these foreigners had also been cancelled, the minister added.

A foreigner who is blacklisted cannot get a visa from any of the missions abroad to come to India.

The Hindu reported on March 31 that the MHA was all set to blacklist the foreign Tablighi members.

The members of the Tablighi Jamaat, a religious group, are under the scanner of security agencies for participating in religious conferences and meetings even though they had come to the country on tourist visas. About 400 people, who either attended or were contacts of those who attended the congregation at Markaz (centre) in Delhi’s Nizamuddin in March, have tested positive for COVID-19 so far.

Tablighi Jamaat and COVID-19: The story so far

About 9,000 people linked to the Nizamuddin event have been traced in different parts of the country. While 1,306 were foreigners, the rest were Indians, Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry said on Thursday.

Described as potential “carriers of COVID-19” by the Centre, the members of the group are accused of not following norms and violating visa conditions.

According to a MHA statement, from January 1, about 2,100 foreigners visited India for Tablighi activities.

Editorial | Beyond the blame game: On the Tablighi Jamaat episode

“Usually, all the foreign nationals visiting India as a part of Tabligh team come on the strength of tourist visa. MHA had already issued guidelines that they should not indulge in missionary work on tourist visa. State Police would be examining categories of visas of all these foreign TJ workers and take further action in case of violation of visa conditions,” MHA had said on Tuesday.

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 8:02:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-outbreak-mha-blacklists-960-foreigners-for-tablighi-ties/article31240910.ece

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