USA USA, French and Italians among 1,300 foreign Tablighi members identified in India

NEW DELHI: More than 1,300 foreign activists from Tablighi Jamaat, including those from the US The USA, France and Italy, which participated in a congregation in Delhi's Nizamuddin, have been identified in different parts of the country and most of them have been quarantined, officials said on Thursday.

The Markaz of Tablighi Jamaat in Nizamuddin West has become an access point, after which an important area has been sealed and an FIR has been filed against its cleric for violating government orders.

Different government agencies have also found around 9,000 Tablighi Jamaat Indian members and their contacts, spread across some 20 states, all of whom are in the process of being placed in quarantine centers.

According to an official estimate, 250 foreign activists from Tablighi Jamaat were identified in Delhi, the highest among all states and Union territories, an official said.

While most of these foreigners were found in the Nizamuddin Markaz, some of them also lived in a few mosques in the national capital.

Foreigners found in Delhi include two US citizens, one from France, Belgium, Italy and Tunisia, 172 Indonesians, 36 Kyrgyz citizens, 21 Bangladeshis, 12 Malays, seven Algerians and two from Afghanistan.

A total of 247 foreigners, who attended the Markaz, were identified in Uttar Pradesh, followed by 154 in Maharashtra and 133 in Tamil Nadu. Up to 96 foreigners were identified in Telangana, 86 in Haryana, 70 in, 59 in Madhya Pradesh, 38 in, 24 in Andhra Pradesh, 12 in Uttrakhand, seven in Odisha and five in Rajasthan.

The agencies also discovered that 24 foreign Tablighi Jamaat activists lived in Karnataka and three others, but these 27 foreigners left India before the blockade took effect, the official said.

So far, a total of 245 Covid-19 cases and some 12 deaths in the country were found to be linked to the Nizamuddin Markaz.

Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba has already told Union states and territories to take action against foreigners, who have participated in Tablighi Jamaat missionary activities, for violation of visa conditions.

Most of these foreigners came to India on a tourist visa, which prohibits their participation in any religious activity.

The government also decided not to issue a tourist visa to any foreigner who wishes to visit India and participate in Tablighi activities, the official said.

The Interior Ministry said on Tuesday that some 2,100 foreigners have come to India since January 1 and have indulged in Tablighi activities in different parts of the country.