Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu flouting law in detention of Tablighi Jamaat members, says Jawahirullah

M.H. Jawahirullah

M.H. Jawahirullah   | Photo Credit: M. SAMRAJ

Manithaneya Makkal Katchi president M.H. Jawahirullah on Friday charged that the State Government has not followed the law or Central government-mandated guidelines in the case of the arrest of 129 Tablighi Jamaat members for violating visa conditions and their continued detention in Chennai.

Mr. Jawahirullah charged that the Tablighi Jamaat members, all foreign nationals, are being held in jail without proper sanitation, ventilation, space and separate kitchens, despite the fact that they were given bail by the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court.

“Foreign nationals must be lodged in designated jails. However, 98 persons were lodged in a Borstal school (inside the Puzhal prison campus). They were then transferred to Saidapet sub-jail, which is not a designated jail to detain foreigners. After they were granted bail, they were re-sent to Borstal school by re-designating the school as ‘special camp’,” Mr. Jawahirullah told The Hindu. He alleged that the 98 foreigners including eight women were cramped in a place which can hold only 30-40 persons.

The government should be ‘benevolent and lenient’ in this issue as prescribed by the recent Karnataka High Court judgement on May 19, 2020, hearing a case related to Bangladeshi migrants. “The judgement says the Central government has delegated the powers to State governments, the decision to set up detention centres for foreigners. It also says the manual (for model detention centres) circulated in January 2019 is applicable for ‘temporary’ camps also. The State government has full authority to place them in a more hygienic place than Borstal School. The government should show leniency in this matter,” he said.

The MMK leader pointed out that Justice V.R. Swaminathan of the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, had on June 12 given clear direction while granting bail to them on their own bonds. “Justice Swaminathan had ordered their release and urged the Home Secretary to consider the proposal of Jamia Qasmiyah Arabi College in Washermenpet, Chennai, to lodge the members after their release, instead of the Special camp. It cannot be a jail complex,” said Mr. Jawahirullah.

“They have violated visa conditions but they have suffered enough, whatever they have undergone is enough," he added.

He recalled that Justice Swaminathan had held: “When the petitioners have already paid the price for their misadventure, to insist that they should continue to remain in India in prison-like conditions till the proceedings are concluded grossly offends the principle of proportionality and fairness.”

Mr. Jawahirullah said that he has been trying to meet Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami to discuss the matter and feels that the “State government was trying to appease the Central government in this matter.” He appealed to all political parties to take up this matter as it involves “a risk of souring diplomatic relations,” as the Tablighi members hail from countries such as France, Belgium, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia.

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Printable version | Aug 15, 2020 11:24:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tamil-nadu-flouting-law-in-detention-of-tablighi-jamaat-members-says-jawahirullah/article31923953.ece

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