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MHA asks states to screen Rohingyas for COVID-19 as many of them attended Nizamuddin meet

The ministry said the Rohingyas residing in camps in Hyderabad had attended Tablighi Jamaat 'Ijtema' at Haryana's Mewat, and had also attended the meet at national capital's Nizamuddin.

Published: 17th April 2020 09:47 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th April 2020 10:30 AM   |  A+A-

The Tablighi Jamaat members had attended a religious congregation at Nizamuddin in Delhi against the social distancing protocol amid the coronavirus outbreak.

For representational purposes

Express News Service

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”.  

ALSO READ | Tablighi Jamaat leader dies of coronavirus in Pakistan; over 1,100 members infected

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.

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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

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