India may grant online consular access to foreign activists from Tablighi Jamaat

NEW DELHI: India has received requests from several countries seeking consular access to its citizens who were detained for attending a congregation on visa rules that mock the national capital, official sources said Thursday.

The government is seeking to grant consular access to foreign Tablighi activists through the online platform, they said.

Hundreds of Indians and foreigners attended a Tablighi Jamaat congregation in the Delhi area in March, ignoring government warnings against large gatherings in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Later, several people who attended the event were found to be suffering from Covid-19.

Previously, government sources said foreign citizens who attended the congregation will face punitive actions if they are found to have participated in the meeting that violates visa rules.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has already reported Indian missions in the countries from which they came to Delhi.

Asked about the extradition of the fugitive evangelist from Malaysia , sources said India continues to investigate the matter with Kuala Lumpur.

Naik, a 53-year-old radical television preacher, left India in 2016 and subsequently moved to Malaysia , which has reportedly granted permanent residency to him. India has made a formal request to Malaysia for the extradition of Naik in January last year.

When asked if the United States was pressing for India to speak to the Taliban, sources said New Delhi has its own thinking and policy on the matter.

On upcoming World Health Organization assemblies after the United States pushed for Taiwan to be included in it, sources said it would be a virtual meeting and that its agenda has not yet been decided.