Bhopal Police arrest over 60 Tablighi Jamaat members for holding religious programmes

Alphonse Joseph

Bhopal, May 16: A senior officer on Saturday said that more than 60 foreign nationals, who are members of Tablighi Jamaat, have been arrested by police here for participating in various religious programmes of the organisation in violation of Foreigners Act and under the Indian Penal Code.

Earlier, seven cases were registered against them under visa norms at various police stations in Bhopal.

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Tablighi Jamaat had grabbed the headlines earlier over a religious congregation held at Nizamuddin, Delhi in March this year amidst coronavirus pandemic.

Several COVID-19 cases were reported when some Tablighis travelled back to their respective home states. However, it is not yet clear whether these foreigners had attended the Delhi event.

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"Cases were registered against the foreigner Jamaatis for the violation of visa conditions under the Foreigners Act. They had arrived in India on tourist visas under which they cannot participate in religious activities," Bhopal Police Range Inspector General (IG) Upendra Jain said.

Jain said the police arrested the Jamaatis on Friday after their bail application was rejected by a local court. They hailed from countries like Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, Tanzania, South Africa, Myanmar and others.

Another official said a total of 64 foreigners were arrested under sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 270 (Malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and provisions of the Disaster Management Act and Foreigners' Act. He said some of the arrested persons had earlier tested positive for coronavirus and all of them were placed under quarantine.

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