Tamil Nadu Police has filed cases against 66 Tablighi Jamaat preachers and members from seven countries besides India on charges of violating various provisions of law, including Foreigners Act, when a health emergency was in force in the country.
Tamil television channel Polimer News reported that the Tablighi Jamaat preachers had come from Thailand, Indonesia, Bangladesh, France, Cameroon, Belgium, and Congo.
The police have filed cases of violating the guidelines for tourist visas under the Foreigners Act, not adhering to Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code on curfew and indulging in religious propagation despite knowing that they had been affected by Coronavirus (Covid-19).
While police filed cases against six Tablighi Jamaat preachers in Erode district, another eight from the same country were booked at the Malaipatti police station in Madurai district.
While 11 Indonesian preachers have been booked by the Kichipalayam police in Salem district, eight more from the country, including four women have been charged with these provisions by police in Chengalpattu district.
In Dindigul, police found 11 Tablighi Jamaat preachers from Bangladesh staying even after their visas had expired. Another three such preachers from the same country were found at a mosque in Chennai’s Periamet locality.
At Needur near Mayiladuthurai in Nagapattinam district, police detected 10 Tablighi Jamaat preachers from abroad. Five of them were from France, three from Cameroon and one each from Congo and Belgium.
In addition, police have also booked cases against Tablighi preachers from Bihar and Maharashtra. All foreign Tablighi Jamaat preachers’ passports have been seized and they have been sent for Coronavirus screening.
Police said since most of them were undergoing treatment for Covid-19, they would be arrested once they recover. Only those who did not come out and identify themselves were arrested.
Most of the Tablighi Jamaat preachers have come to Tamil Nadu after attending the Aalami Markaz Nizamuddin or Banglewali Masjid congregations in Delhi last month.
The Nizamuddin congregations are the main source of Coronavirus infection in Tamil Nadu, account for 90 per cent of the total 834 Covid-19 positive cases in the State.
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