New Delhi, April 2, 2020: Under the directions of Union Home Minister, Amit Shah, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has blacklisted 960 foreigners, present in India on tourist visas, for their involvement in Tablighi Jamaat activities. MHA has also directed DGPs of all concerned States/UTs and CP, Delhi Police to take necessary legal action against all such violators, on priority, under relevant sections of the Foreigners Act, 1946 and Disaster Management Act, 2005.
IB shares details of Tabligh Jamaat workers with States, 1339 TJ workers quarantined
Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) shared details of foreign and Indian Tabligh Jamaat (TJ) workers in India with all States on March 21, 2020, after COVID-19 positive cases among these workers surfaced in Telangana.
The swift action was taken with a view to identify, isolate and quarantine TJ workers who might be COVID-19 positive. Instructions were also issued by MHA to Chief Secretaries and DGsP of all States as well as CP, Delhi. The advisories were reiterated by the Director, Intelligence Bureau (DIB) to all State DGsP on March 28 and 29.
Meanwhile, TJ workers staying in the Markaz in Nizamuddin, Delhi, were also persuaded for medical screening by State authorities and Police. By March 29, nearly 162 TJ workers were medically screened and shifted to quarantine facilities. So far, 1339 Tabligh Jamaat workers have been shifted to Narela, Sultanpuri and Bakkarwala quarantine facilities as well as to LNJP, RGSS, GTB, DDU Hospitals and AllMS, Jhajjar. Rest of them are being currently medically screened for COVID-19 infections.
Usually, all the foreign nationals visiting India as a part of Tabligh team come on the strength of tourist visa. MHA had already issued guidelines that they should not indulge in missionary work on tourist visa. State Police would be examining categories of visas of all these foreign TJ workers and take further action in case of violation of visa conditions.
What is Tabligh Jamaat ?
Tablighi Jamaat Headquarter (Markaz) is located in Nizamuddin, Delhi. Devout Muslims from across the country and also from foreign countries visit the Markaz for religious purpose. Some also move out in groups to different parts of the country for Tabligh activities. This is a continuous process throughout the year.
On March 21 , approximately 824 foreign Tabligh Jamaat workers were in different parts of the country for missionary work. Besides, around 216 foreign national were staying in the Markaz. In addition, over 1500 Indian TJ workers were also staying in the Markaz while around 2100 Indian TJ workers were touring different parts of the country for missionary work. Since March 23, lockdown has been strictly imposed by State authorities/PoIice across Delhi including in and around Nizamuddin and Tabligh work came to a halt.
Tabligh activities in India
• Tabligh Jamaat workers, both foreigners as well Indians, indulge in Tabligh activities (Chilla) across the country throughout the year.
• Various nationals, particularly from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Kyrgyzstan come for Tabligh activities.
• All such foreign nationals normally report their arrival at Tabligh Markaz at Banglewali Mosque in Hazrat Nizamuddin in New Delhi. From here, they are detailed for Chilla activities to different parts of the country.
• Chilla activities in all States are coordinated by District Coordinators in different Districts, who, in turn, in some States are supervised by State Amirs.
• As on March 21, there were about 1746 persons staying in Hazrat Nizamuddin Markaz. Of these, 216 were foreigners and 1530 were Indians.
• Additionally, about 824 foreigners had been, as on March 21, doing Chilla activities in various parts of the country .
• Also, a large number of Indian Tabligh Jamaat workers were also engaged in different parts of the country.
• Details of these 824 foreigners had been shared on March 21 with the State Police for identifying them, getting them medically screened and quarantining them.
• Besides, on March 28, State Police were advised to collect the names of Indian Tabligh Jamaat workers from the local coordinators, locate them on the ground, get them medically screened and quarantine them. So far, about 2137 such persons have been identified in different States. They are being medically examined and quarantined. This process is still on and more such people would be identified and located. On March 28, MHA also issued a detailed advisory to Chief Secretaries and DGPs of all States, as well as CP Delhi, on this issue .
• Again, State DGPs had been advised by DIB on March 29, to trace the movement of all such Tabligh workers in their area, ascertain the people coming in their contacts and take steps for their medical screening. Many States have already started doing this.
• All the Tabligh Jamaat workers staying at Hazrat Nizamuddin Markaz are being medically screened since March 26. So far 1203 Tabligh Jamaat workers have been medically screened. 303 of them had symptoms of COVID-19 and were referred to different hospitals in Delhi. Rest of them have been moved to different quarantine centres at Narela, Bakkarwala and Sultanpuri. This process will continue throughout today to move every Tabligh Jamaat worker out of Nizamuddin Markaz.
• It is estimated that from January 1 onwards this year, approximately 2100 foreigners had visited India for Tabligh activities. While approximately 824 of them, as on March 21, were dispersed in different parts of the country, approximately 216 of them were staying at Nizamuddin Markaz. Others might have left the country before the lockdown.
• Bureau of Immigration has been sharing (since February 1) with State authorities, details of all international arrivals from affected countries based on Self Declaration Form filled-in by them.
• In addition, since March 6, Bureau of Immigration had also been sharing details of all the international arrivals (both Indians and foreigners) at all the international airports in the country to the concerned State, based on the permanent address mentioned in their passport, in case of Indians, and hotel address, in case of foreigners.