New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The central government on Thursday banned more than 2,200 blacklisted foreign nationals for ten years from travelling to India for their involvement in Tablighi Jamaat activities, news agency ANI quoted government sources as saying.  

This comes a month after the Delhi Police told the High Court that 960 foreign nationals, who came to India on tourist and e-visas and attended the Tablighi Jammat event in Delhi's Nizamuddin in March this year, face jail term of up to five years.  

The police had said that the foreign nationals violated the conditions of their visas by joining the event and face for prosecution under Section 14 of the Indian Foreigners Act 1946.

"They had entered India on a tourist visa and participated in the Markaz and in addition to violating visa provisions, they also led to a situation where a highly infectious disease spread and threatened the lives of inmates as well as the general public," the Delhi Police had said while adding that the foreign nationals "deliberately, willfully, negligently and malignantly disobeyed the lawful directions promulgated in this regard".

The police also filed 35 different chargesheets against 376 foreign nationals from 34 countries for attending the event for violating visa conditions, indulging in missionary activities illegally and violating government guidelines, issued in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

They have also been for the offences under sections 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 269 (Negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), 270 (Malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 271 (Disobedience to quarantine rule) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the Foreigners Act.

In April, COVID-19 cases across the country spiked after hundreds of many Tablighi Jamaat members, who had attended the religious congregation at Nizamuddin Markaz event, tested positive.

At least 9,000 people, including the foreign nationals participated in the religious congregation in Nizamuddin. Later, many of the attendees travelled to various parts of the country.

A FIR was registered against Tablighi Jamaat leader Maulana Saad Kandhalvi and six others on March 31 on a complaint of the Station House Officer of Nizamuddin under sections of the Epidemic Diseases Act, Disaster Management Act (2005), Foreigners Act and other relevant sections of Indian Penal Code.

Kandhalvi was later booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder after some of the attendees of the religious congregation died due to Covid-19, police said.

After being exposed to a large gathering in March amid the COVID-19 or coronavirus lockdown many members of Tablighi Jamaat from Markaz Hazrat Nizamuddin were taken out by the authorities and lodged in different quarantine centres in Delhi. Some of them were sent to the centres a few days later after being detained from various mosques.

The other members were directly taken to quarantine centres to contain the spread of COVID-19.

(With PTI inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma