Tablighi Markaz: Govt Directs Missions Abroad to Stop Tourist Visas to Tablighi Activists Coming to India
Syed Ali Ahmed | India Tomorrow
New Delhi, APRIL 1—The government has decided not to grant tourist visa to any foreigner who wants to visit India for Tablighi activities.
The decisions seems to have been taken after it was found that 2100 foreigners came on tourist visa since January 1 this year and were involved in Tablighi activities all across India.
A few of them, according to government agencies, have been found to be corona positive.
About 220 of them are still stranded at Tablighi Jamaat headquarters at Hazrat Nizamuddin, New Delhi.
A Home Ministry official said that the Ministry of External Affairs has been directed to advise mission abroad not to issue tourist visa to any one who intended to visit India for Tablighi works. Foreign missions have also been asked to find out the financial position of the visa seekers and the hotels or the places where he/she would be staying during travel to India.
These decisions, according to Home Ministry sources, have been taken in view of a large number of people found stranded at Tablighi Jamaat headquarters and some of them from abroad during the lockdown to combat coronavirus.
Home Ministry officials say that all foreign Tablighi activists came to India on the strength of tourist visa only.
This is despite the fact that no one is allowed to indulge in Tablighi or missionary activities coming to India on tourist visa.
The Home Ministry is learnt to have issued directives to all state police heads to check the visas of all foreign Tablighi workers and take action in case of violation of visa conditions.
A statement issued by the Home Ministry said that on March 21, there were 824 foreign Tablighi workers all over India and 216 other foreign Tablighis were at Tablighi Markaz at Nizamuddin. On March 28, the Home Ministry issued a directive to all state police chiefs to go for Covid 19 examination of all the foreign Tablighis. The letter also advised to quarantine and hospitalise those who are found corona positive. And in case of those who are found corona, arrangements be made to deport them through the first available flight.
According to Home Ministry, majority of foreign Tablighis currently stranded in are 493 from Bangladesh, 472 from Indonesia, 150 from Malaysia and 142 from Thailand.