Tablighi Jamaat followers from 14 countries in jail, being provided consular access

Image Source : PTI (FILE)

A representational image of Tablighi Jamaat headquarters in New Delhi’s Nizamuddin

Foreigners from 14 countries have been arrested and placed in various jails for violating the terms of their visa, government sources said on Wednesday. Sources said that the government was providing consular access to the arrested Tablighi followers, as per requests from their respective embassies.

Ther Delhi Police filed 15 chargesheets against 294 foreign nationals at the Saket court on Wednesday. The National Capital’s police force had filed 20 chargesheets against 82 foreigners from 20 different countries at the same New Delhi court on Tuesday.

Duty Metropolitan Magistrate Saema Jamil is slated to take cognisance of the chargesheets on June 12.

The case pertains to a congregation at Banglewali Masjid in Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin on March 13, in which a large number of foreign nationals had participated.

“These foreign nationals had entered India on tourist visas and participated in the Markaz illegally. In addition to violating the provisions of visas, these foreign nationals also led to a situation where a highly infectious disease such as Covid-19 infection spread and threatened the lives of the inmates and the general public at large,” the Crime Branch said on Tuesday, as reported by news agency IANS.

The case in this regard was registered on March 31. More than 900 foreign nationals who are accused in this case belong to 34 different countries.

The 82 foreign nationals against whom the charge sheets have been filed belong to Afghanistan, Brazil, China, the US, Ukraine, Australia, Egypt, Russia, Algeria, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, France, Morocco, Kazakhstan, Tunisia, UK, Fiji, Sudan and the Philippines.

The charge sheets have been filed under the Indian Penal Code’s Sections 188 (disobedience of order by public servant), 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease), 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease) and 271 (disobedience to quarantine rules). Besides this, they have been charged under Section 14 (b) of Foreigners Act, 1946, Section 3 of The Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and Section 51 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

(with IANS inputs)

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