The Home Ministry on Tuesday said that it has found violation of visa rules by foreigners who attended Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi’s Nizamuddin, which has become a COVID-19 hotspot in the country.
With this, India is likely to blacklist about 300 foreigners who came from 16 countries, including Malaysia and Thailand, on tourist visas but attended the Islamic congregation at Nizamuddin, officials said on Tuesday.
These foreigners were among around 8,000 people who attended the Tabligh-e-Jamaat at Nizamuddin Markaz facility in March, many of whom have shown symptoms of COVID-19, a Union Home Ministry official said.
“Those who came on a tourist visa but attended the Nizamuddin event stands to be in our blacklist as they have violated the visa conditions. Tourist visa holders can’t attend religious function,” the official said.
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.
Therefore all foreigners who attended the event may be barred.
If a foreigner is put in the Home ministry’s blacklist, he or she cannot travel to India in future. A total of 281 foreigners were found by the police at the Nizamuddin campus in the last two days.
Over 2,000 delegates, including from Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Kyrgyzstan attended the Tabligh-e-Jamaat congregation in Nizamuddin West from March 13-15, officials said as the south Delhi neighbourhood was virtually sealed.
Around 1,034 people have now been shifted from the Markaz building till now — 334 to hospitals and 700 to quarantine centers — in at least 34 trips made by Delhi government buses.
So far seven people, who attended the religious congregation have died, while 24 have tested positive for the virus.
The police has said that the religious congregation was organised without permission from authorities.