10 Bangladeshis among 12 Tablighi Jamaat Members, Three of Their Aides Held in MP's Sheopur District

Bhopal: At least 12 attendees of the Tablighi Jamaat event held Delhi Nizamuddin Marqaz in March this year were arrested in Madhya Pradesh’s Sheopur district on Tuesday for staying in the state without informing the local authorities.

Three locals were also jailed for sheltering them, said Sheopur Superintendent of Police Sampat Upadhyay. The Jamaat group included 10 Bangladeshi nationals and two residents of Kolkata. Among those taken to prison are six women.

“They were earlier quarantined along with a few others who had reportedly got infected by coronavirus. Their latest samples have tested negative,” said Upadhyay.

As many as 22 attendees of the Tablighi congregation, which has turned into one of the major hotspots for COVID-19 in the country, had been identified from Bagvaj village in Sheopur on April 2 following a raid by the local police.

Police said a case was lodged against all the 22 and the remaining 10 people could be jailed shortly. This is second such legal action that has been initiated against the Jamaat members.

On April 10, 64 foreign nationals who had attended the Nizamuddin event, 10 of their local aides and 13 others who were in their touch, were booked by five different police stations under IPC Ssections 188 (disobedience to order promulgated by public servant), 269 and 270 (negligent act likely to spread of disease dangerous to life) in Bhopal.

Charges were also slapped under sections 13 and 14 of the Foreigners Act 1946 and Section 51 of the National Disaster Management Act 2005.

All of them are likely to be arrested after doctors certify that their presence in the jail would not lead to further spread of the infection, a police officer had said.

As many as 20 Jamaat members had tested positive in Bhopal and 140 others were quarantined on the outskirts of the city. Some other districts in the state, Umaria, Agar Malwa, Khandwa, Khargone, Vidisha, Dewas, Raisen and Mhow (Indore), have also reported coronavirus cases among attendees of last month’s event.

On Tuesday, Health Minister Narottam Mishra said of the 123 virus cases in Ujjain, 103 were affiliated to Tablighi Jamaat and only 20 locals have separately contracted the infection.

A number of locals have also reportedly got infected after coming in contact with the Jamaat members.

Till Wednesday, the numbers of positive cases in the state has risen to 2,565, including 129 deaths. As many as 452 people have recovered from the virus completely.