Pune: FIR registered against 8 foreigner Tablighi Jamaat members

Tablighi Jamaat

Tablighi Jamaat workers being taken to hospital in Delhi.

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Pune, April 5, 2020: After the Central government began crackdown on Tablighi Jamaat (TJ) members following spread of Coronavirus outbreak, Pune city police today booked eight foreigner TJ members who were staying at a masjid in Nana Peth.

Based on a complaint from the Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) of Pune police, an FIR has been registered with Samarth Police Station for offences under sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 269 (whoever unlawfully or negligently does any act which is, and which he knows or has reason to believe to be, likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life) and 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) of the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the Foreigners Act.

According to police, all of them belong to Tablighi Jamaat and had come to Pune on 11 March. They had not attended the event at Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi. They stayed at different mosques in Pune including Khadki, Hadapsar, Kondhwa, Mominpura and Ghorpadi. Earlier they were tested for COVID19 on 24th March and all were found negative. After the FIR was registered, they were taken to PMC run Naidu Hospital for a medical test again.

MHA blacklists 960 Tablighi Jamaat members

The decision to register FIR was taken after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) decided to blacklist foreigners for spreading Coronavirus cases. They came here on tourist visa instead of missionary visa for religious purpose.

“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”, a press release from the central government on April 2 stated.

What is Tablighi Jamaat ?

Tabligh 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.

Out of 3000 Coronavirus positive cases in India about 30 percent cases are spread through Tablighi Jamaat event, officials said.