India has blacklisted as many as 2550 Tablighi Jamaat members from nearly 40 countries in the past two months for the visa rules violations and these blacklisted persons will be deported soon after the court procedures and would not be allowed to enter India for more than 10 years. According to the Union Home Ministry officials, the blacklisted Tablighis are basically from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand – i. e. several South Eastern region countries.
The blacklisted Tablighis are also from the US, UK, France, Australia, Russia, China, Sri Lanka, Kyrgyzstan, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gambia, Iran, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, the Philippines, Qatar, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Sweden, Tanzania, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and Ukraine. This is perhaps for the first time that the government has blacklisted a large number of people in one stroke and banned their entry into India for such a long duration under the Foreigners Act.
The action has been taken by the Home Ministry after various State Governments provided details of the foreigners who were found to be illegally living in mosques and religious seminaries across the country. Almost all of these foreign Tablighi Jamaat activists had come to India on a tourist visa but were engaged in missionary work, thus violating the visa conditions, the officials said.
Action against the foreign Tablighi Jamaat members was first taken after over 2,300 people, including 250 foreigners, belonging to the Islamic organisation were found to be living at its headquarters located at Delhi’s Nizamuddin soon after the nation-wide lockdown was announced in March. Several of these members had tested positive for coronavirus.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Delhi Police also started a probe on the huge money trails linked to Tablighi Head Quarters in Nizamuddin and its head Maulana Saad. Still, the Government is believed to be soft on taking action against Maulana Saad. PGurus has reported huge assets and the plush life of Maulana Saad, who preaches simple life to these followers.
The Tablighi Jamaat members were blamed for the spread of coronavirus in more than 20 states and Union Territories with more than a thousand COVID-19 positive cases and over two dozen deaths traced to them. In April, the Home Ministry had directed DGPs of all the states and UTs, and the Delhi Police Commissioner to take necessary legal action against all such violators, on priority, under relevant sections of the Foreigners Act, 1946 and Disaster Management Act, 2005. Last week, the CBI has registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) against the organisers of Tablighi Jamaat for alleged dubious cash transactions and hiding of foreign donations from authorities.
[With inputs from PTI]
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