The Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday blacklisted 960 foreigners on tourist visas from 41 countries for their participation in Tablighi Jamaat activities organised at Islamic headquarters in Nizamuddin last week, turning the area into a major Coronavirus hostspot in the country.
Indonesia, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar and Sri Lanka are among the 41 top countries from where these foreigners came from.
With this move, the visitors’ visas stand cancelled.
As per policy guidelines of Indian Visa issued by by the Government of India, preaching religious ideologies, making speeches in religious places, distribution of audio-visual display/pamphlets pertaining to religious ideologies is not allowed.
If a foreigner is put in the Home ministry’s blacklist, he or she cannot travel to India in future.
The MHA has also directed the DGPs of all states and Union territories and the Commissioner of Police, Delhi to take necessary legal action against such violators, on priority, under relevant sections of the Foreigners Act, 1946 and Disaster Management Act, 2005.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Centre had asked all states and union territories to “immediately trace, screen and quarantine” the estimated 2000 foreigners who attended the religious gathering last month.
The Home Ministry in a letter addressed to state chief secretaries and police chiefs also said that if any foreigner tests negative for the deadly Coronavirus, then he should be “immediately deported by the first available flight”.
“Till that time, such person must be confined and quarantined by his host organisation,” the government had said in its advisory.
The advisory further said that foreign teams of the Jamaat are on tour to the hinterland of India, and appear to be potential carriers of the coronavirus disease.
Defying lockdown orders and social distancing rules, the Markaz building, which is the international headquarters of ‘Tablighi Jamaat’ from around last 100 years, continued to house about 2,000 people from different parts of the country and world.
According to the Health Ministry update, around 647 positive cases found across 10 states and Union Territories in the last two days have links to the Tablighi Jamaat cluster in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area.