NEW DELHI: The Centre has asked all states and Union Territories to prioritise the tracing of Rohingya Muslims who attended a Tablighi Jamaat event in the Nizamuddin Markaz, which spawned the largest cluster of coronavirus positive cases in the country.
Suspecting that some of the Rohingyas from Telangana, Delhi, Punjab and Jammu may have contracted the infection, the Union home ministry said the Rohingyas and their contacts “may need to be screened for COVID-19”.
According to the ministry’s letter to the states, Rohingyas living in camps in Hyderabad had gone to attend Tablighi Jamaat events in Mewat (Haryana) and the Nizamuddin Markaz.
Rohingyas based in Derabassi, Punjab and Jammu are also said to have attended the Nizamuddin event.
It claimed that “Rohingyas living in Delhi’s Shram Vihar and Shaheen Bagh are yet to return to their camps”.
The letter seeking compliance has been marked to chief secretaries of states, administrators of UTs, directors-general of police of all states/UTs and the Delhi Police Commissioner. It, however, does not specify the dates/month on which Rohingyas visited Nizamuddin.
Tablighi Jamaat, which came under the scanner for its mid-March event, traces its roots to Mewat region. The event was attended by over 2,000 people who stayed at the Markaz flouting social distancing norms enforced by the government.
Rohingyas are scattered across many states, including Delhi, J&K and Telangana.
Around 40,000 refugees in India
There are about 17,500 Rohingyas registered as refugees in India, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
The actual figure could be way higher, with government sources pegging it around 40,000