The Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday that 1,095 look out circulars have been deleted and 630 foreign members of the Tablighi Jamaat group have left India, PTI reported. Tablighi Jamaat members stuck in India for violating visa rules and pandemic restrictions are being given consular access and “smooth repatriation” to their home countries, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.
“We have kept the respective foreign embassies informed through the entire process,” he said. “As of August 24, 1,095 look out circulars (LOCs) were deleted and 630 foreign members of the Tablighi Jamaat have left India.”
Srivastava said that since the members of the Tablighi Jamaat were charged under the Foreigners Act for indulging in activities that were incompatible with their visa status, they have to seek the appropriate category of visa to enable them to return home.
A Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Nizamuddin, Delhi, in March was blamed for thousands of coronavirus infections around the country in the initial weeks of the nationwide lockdown which began on March 25. The congregation was attended by many foreigners. The Tablighi Jamaat is a Sunni Muslim sect with followers in over 80 countries.
On August 6, the Centre had told the Supreme Court that foreigners facing charges for attending the Tablighi Jamaat event in India can leave if they render an apology. The court was hearing petitions filed by 34 foreign visitors, challenging the government’s orders to blacklist them for attending the event.
In July, a court in Delhi had granted bail to 82 Bangladeshis who attended the event. Sixty-two Malaysians and 11 Saudi Arabians were also released after payment of fines by another local court.
The Centre had in June blacklisted over 2,500 Tablighi members and prohibited their entry into the country for 10 years. The action was taken after several state governments submitted information on those who had been accused of illegally living in mosques and seminaries.