A hundred and ten Bangladeshis are among 960 foreign Tablighi Jamaat participants who were blacklisted and their tourist visas cancelled by India for violating visa conditions, officials said today.
The foreign Tablighi Jamaat members, who are currently in different parts of the country -- some of whom have tested positive for COVID-19 -- also include four Americans, nine Britons, six Chinese, 379 Indonesians, 63 from Myanmar and 33 Sri Lankans.
The Indian Home Ministry in a terse statement on Thursday night blacklisted the 960 foreigners and cancelled their visas after finding they were involved in Tablighi Jamaat activities, which violate their visa conditions as the India visa does not allow holders to attend religious gatherings.
As many as 77 citizens of Kyrgyzstan, 75 of Malaysia, 65 Thailand, 12 of Vietnam, nine of Saudi Arabia and three of France were also among those Tablighi Jamaat participants who were blacklisted and their visas cancelled, a government official said.
Action against the foreign Tablighi Jamaat members were taken after over 2,300 people, including 250 foreigners of the Islamic outfit, were found staying at its headquarters in New Delhi's Nizamuddin locality despite the 21-day lockdown imposed on the city due to the spread of coronavirus.
More than 300 of these Tablighi Jamaat activists have tested positive for Covid-19 while others have been put in different quarantine centres.
At least 9,000 people had participated at a congregation at the Nizamuddin Markaz last month, after which many have travelled to various parts of India for missionary work.
So far, around 400 Covid-19 positive cases and about 12 deaths in the country were found to have links with the Nizamuddin Markaz.
The Home ministry also asked Delhi Police and police chiefs of other states, where these foreigners are currently living, to take legal action under the Foreigners Act and the Disaster Management Act.
The Home Ministry on Tuesday had said about 2,100 foreigners have come to India since January 1 and participated in Tablighi activities in different parts of the country.
On Thursday, the ministry said over 1,300 foreign Tablighi Jamaat activists, including those from the US, France and Italy, have been identified in different parts of the country and most of them have been put in quarantine.
The government has also decided not to issue tourist visas to foreigners who wish to visit India and take part in Tablighi activities.
Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba also told states to take action against foreigners who have participated in the missionary activities of Tablighi Jamaat in violation of visa conditions.