BHOPAL: As many as six Tablighi Jamaat members from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan and their two Indian tourist guides/interpreters who were arrested by police from mosques in Bhopal during the lock-down a few weeks back were granted bail by the Madhya Pradesh High Court on Tuesday.
A single judge bench of the MP High Court in Jabalpur headed by Justice Sujay Paul granted bail to the eight men, including the six foreigners.
The eight men who were granted bail included - two men from Bihar identified as Sajid Kareem and Karif Ullah (both tourist guides hailing from Bihar) Noor Beg, Kanaat Beg, Maskat, Kadrebek and Kamolideen (all natives of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan).
According to Ankit Saxena, the counsel for the eight men told The New Indian Express that it had pleaded before the single judge bench that two other men Fahad Ahmad and Hafiz Mohammad, who are facing trial for similar offences were granted bail by the court on April 30.
“The present applicants for the bail are similarly situated qua Fahad Ahmad and Hafiz Mohammad, who were granted bail,” the counsel submitted before the HC.
Subsequently, the HC granted bail to the eight applicants on the same condition under which bail was granted to Fahad Ahmad and Hafiz Mohammad on April 30.
The eight men, including the six men from erstwhile USSR states, were among the 60-odd Tablighi Jamaat members who were tracked from different mosques in five police station areas of Bhopal amid the lock-down.
The men found in the mosques amid the lock-down were staying in mosques in Bhopal after returning from the Tablighi Jamaat’s gathering at Markaz in South Delhi.
All of them were booked under IPC Sections 188 (disobedience to order promulgated by public servant), 269 and 270 (negligent act likely to spread of disease dangerous to life), besides Sections 13 and 14 of the Foreigners Act 1946 and Section 51 of the National Disaster Management Act 2005.
All these 60-odd men were quarantined, out of which 20 had later turned positive for the deadly COVID-19 and had subsequently been hospitalized in Bhopal, while the other men were arrested after completion of institutional quarantine.