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Tablighi Jamaat attendees made ‘scapegoats’, says Bombay HC; quashes FIRs against 29 foreign nationals

The Tablighi Jamaat congregation held in March in Delhi’s Nizamuddin has reportedly contributed to 30 per cent of the total Coronavirus cases in the country at that time.

SNS | New Delhi |

The Bombay High Court on Saturday quashed the FIRs filed against 29 foreign nationals who attended the Tablighi Jamaat event in the national capital and said that they were made scapegoats.

The court said, “It can be said that due to the present action is taken fear was created in the minds of those Muslims. There is a smell of malice to take action against these foreigners and Muslims for their alleged activities.”

The Aurangabad Bench of the Bombay High Court comprising Justice T. V. Nalawade and Justice M.G. Sewlikar was hearing the petition.

“There was virtually persecution against these foreigners. A political government tries to find the scapegoat… and circumstances show that there is a probability that these foreigners were chosen to make them scapegoats,” the court ruled.

Making strong observations, the court said that there was “big propaganda in the print and electronic media against these foreigners and attempts were made to create a picture that these foreigners were responsible for the spread of coronavirus in India.”

The Tablighi Jamaat congregation held in March in Delhi’s Nizamuddin has reportedly contributed to 30 per cent of the total Coronavirus cases in the country. India witnessed a surge in the number of cases after more than 1,000 people linked to the controversial Delhi mosque event tested positive. At least 17 states have reported COVID-19 cases linked to the gathering.

Right after the incident came in light, many attacks were launched on different media platforms criticising the gathering and accusing it to be behind the rapid spread of the virus.

Following their evacuation from Markaz facility in Nizamuddin, several Tablighi Jamaat members have been arrested in police raids. A string of First Information Reports (FIR) have been filed against them across the country ranging from violating quarantine orders to indecent behaviour in hospitals.