960 Tablighi foreigners blacklisted, visas cancelled by MHA; states told to take legal action

MHA also asked Delhi Police and police chiefs of other states, where these foreigners are currently living, to take legal action under the Foreigners Act and the Disaster Management Act.
Delhi fire service staff sanitize the Nizamuddin area in New Delhi on Friday. (Photo | Anil Shakya, EPS)
Delhi fire service staff sanitize the Nizamuddin area in New Delhi on Friday. (Photo | Anil Shakya, EPS)

NEW DELHI: The Centre on Thursday blacklisted 960 foreign Tablighi Jamaat workers and cancelled their visas for violation of visa norms, recommending further action against them for violating the 21-day lockdown imposed to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The MHA took the action amid its ongoing efforts to identify the contacts of over 9,000 identified Tabligi Jamaat workers who attended a congregation at Nizamuddin markaz, which has become the hotspot for coronavirus in the country.  “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 home minister’s office tweeted in Hindi.

The MHA, which is monitoring the nationwide shutdown, also issued another important order for evacuation of foreigners from the country. It allowed foreign nationals to travel back and be released from quarantine facilities on the condition that they are asymptomatic for Covid-19. Some foreign countries have approached the government for evacuation of their nationals.

The detailed guidelines enable transit arrangements for stranded foreign nationals and also the evacuation of those foreigners, who arrived in India post-February 15 after their quarantine period and tested coronavirus negative. The instructions were issued as the third addendum to lockdown guidelines.MHA officials said the decision was taken after it noticing that a number of foreign nationals are stranded in different parts of India. It has now been decided that requests from foreign governments, for the evacuation of their nationals from India, would be examined by the MEA on case to case basis.

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