Foreign nationals from at least 41 countries including the US participated in the controversial Tablighi Jamaat gathering at the community’s headquarters in the Nizamuddin area of the capital in violation of their visa conditions, as per an initial official estimate seen by the Hindustan Times.
The government had blacklisted these foreign attendees of the Jamaat, who had entered India on tourist visas but ended up partaking in a religious event, a flagrant violation inviting revocation of their visas and blacklisting for future travel.
Most of the 960 foreign nationals, who were blacklisted, were from Indonesia (379), Bangladesh (110), Kyrgyzstan (77), Myanmar (63) and Thailand (65). Several attendees from as far as Djibouti in East Africa and Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean Islands in North America, have also been banned.
On Thursday, the Ministry of Home Affairs had said in a statement that 960 foreigners “present in India on tourist visas” had been blacklisted for their “involvement in activities of the Tablighi Jamaat.”
As many as 4,200 foreigners have thus far been blacklisted by the Home Ministry’s Immigration Department for flouting tourist visa norms and engaging in Tablighi activities, particularly missionary work, since 2015, according to government officials familiar with the matter.
The Tablighi Jamaat has come into increased limelight after a gathering it organized in March was found to be responsible for hundreds of Covid-19 infections across India.
At least 182 (62%) of the 293 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in Delhi were linked to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation, the Delhi government said on Thursday.__Hindustan Times