The Union Home Minister has blacklisted at least 960 foreign nationals linked to the religious group Tablighi Jamaat, whose event in Delhi's Nizamuddin Dargah became a hotspot for coronavirus, and cancelled their tourist visas. The visas of these foreigners were cancelled for their involvement in the activities of the religious group even when they arrived in the country on tourist visas. The decision came after more than 550 people, who attended the Tablighi Jamaat event last month, has tested positive for the coronavirus.
"The home ministry has blacklisted 960 foreigners and their Indian visas have also been cancelled for their involvement in Tablighi Jamaat activities while coming on tourist visas," the Union home minister's Amit Shah's office wrote on Twitter.
After the cancellation of their tourist visas, the government will now initiate legal action against them and deport them back to their respective countries. The Home Ministry said that over 1,300 foreigners from three virus-hit countries - the US, Italy, and France - have been identified in various parts of the country.
According to a report published in the NDTV, legal action will be taken against the blacklisted Tablighi Jamaat activists for misusing their visas under Section 14 of the Foreigners Act. According to the Indian laws, any foreign national who visit the country on a tourist visa is not allowed to take part in religious activities. These blacklisted Jamaat members will also face legal actions under the Disaster Management Act.
India says no to tourist visas to Tablighi Jamaat members
Moreover, the Indian government has decided not to grant a tourist visa to any foreign national related to the Tablighi Jamaat. As of now, all of the 960 blacklisted persons are either in quarantine facilities or in hospitals. After the treatment, the will be lodged in the detention centres in various states and their host countries will be informed as per the procedure.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of External Affairs is trying to establish contact with 67 nations to which these foreigners belong and a plan is being made to send them back to their respective countries. Over 550 people across India, including several foreign nationals, who attended the Tablighi Jamaat religious gathering in Delhi have tested positive for coronavirus, which has infected more than 2,000 people and killed over 50 in India. Globally, the highly contagious virus that causes COVID-19 disease has claimed over 50,000 lives and infected more than a million people.