8 Malaysians linked to Tablighi Jamaat deboarded from rescue flight

Government has blacklisted scores of foreigners who violated their visa conditions to attend a religious event in Delhi.

Eight Malaysian nationals were intercepted by immigration authorities and deboarded from a flight to Kuala Lumpur after they were identified as Tablighi Jamaat members who attended the religious congregation in Nizamuddin, which is linked to one-third of India’s coronavirus infections, said officials.

The intervention was made on Sunday afternoon, around 30 minutes past 12, when a Malindo Air Flight from Delhi to Kuala Lumpur via Mumbai was readying to depart with 30 Malaysian nationals in an evacuation trip.

Immigration officers informed the police and officials of the ministry of health post the intervention, made in response to a lookout notice against several foreigners, who are believed to have attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation at its Nizamuddin headquarters in March in violation of their visa conditions.

The government has already blacklisted over 900 such foreigners and invoked provisions of the Disaster Management Act and the Foreign Management Act against them.

Over 2,000 Tablighi Jamaat activists were evacuated from the Nizamuddin building last week and several hundreds of them spread out to at least 17 states. The health ministry has linked close to one-third of all Covid-19 infections in the country to Jaamat members and their contacts. A home ministry release that announced the blacklisting of 960 foreigners for attending the congregation in violation of the visa rules said most were from Indonesia (379), Bangladesh (110), Kyrgyzstan (77), Myanmar (63) and Thailand (65). 

Many foreign nationals who attended the religious gathering, among other Indians, have tested positive for Covid-19 and nearly 22,000 Tablighi Jamaat members and their contacts have been quarantined across the country so far, a home ministry official said on Saturday.


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