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Tablighi Jamaat meet: 46 foreigners jailed for violation of visa norms

People being evacuated from the Tablighi Jamaat centre in Delhi for COVID-19 testing. File photo

People being evacuated from the Tablighi Jamaat centre in Delhi for COVID-19 testing. File photo   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

As many as 46 foreign nationals from Malaysia, Kyrgyzstan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Kazakhstan have been arrested from three districts of Bihar and sent to jail for violation of visa norms.

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According to police officials 18 foreign nationals were arrested from Araria district, 17 from Patna, and 11 from Buxar district.

Among them, 20 are from Malaysia, nine each from Bangladesh and Kyrgyzstan, seven from Indonesia and one from Kazakhstan.

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“All had come to Bihar after attending the Tablighi Jamaat congregation at Nizamuddin in New Delhi recently,” said a police official.

Earlier, they all were kept in quarantine for two weeks after they were picked up by the police on the complaints lodged by local residents. However, their test results for novel coronavirus were found negative.

When their quarantine ended on Monday, they were arrested in the respective districts for violation of Foreigners Act 1946 and produced before local courts which sent them to judicial custody for 14 days on Tuesday.

“They are kept in separate wards of jail in Patna, Araria and Buxar jails,” the official said.

“All of them had come in India on tourist visa but indulged in promoting religious activities in violation of the Foreigners Act 1946,” he added.

Passport, visa seized

The police have seized their visa, passport and other related documents.

The Superintendents of Police in Patna, Araria and Buxar districts said “they were arrested under Section 14(B) of Foreigners Act 1946”.

“All 17 foreign nations were earlier picked up from Kurji area of Patna on March 23 and kept in quarantine…we’re also tracing people who had invited them to Patna,” said Patna SSP Upendra Sharma.

The arrested foreigners may be sentenced to five-year jail term if found guilty under the provisions of Foreigners Act 1946 and convicted by the competent court.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2020 7:25:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tablighi-jamaat-meet-46-foreigners-jailed-for-violation-of-visa-norms/article31344275.ece

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