The 567 foreign nationals, who have been lodged in quarantine centres in Delhi after attending a congregation of an Islamic sect in March, should be handed over to the police if they test coronavirus negative, a senior Delhi official said in an order on Saturday.
“567 members of Tablighi Jamaat (in Delhi) are foreigners. Those who have tested negative and are still living in Delhi quarantine centres, must be handed over to the Delhi police as per the Union Home Ministry’s order,” Delhi’s Divisional Commissioner said in an order to his juniors.
Thousands from India and across the world had attended the congregation between March 1-15 at Delhi’s Nizamuddin. The gathering turned out to be the biggest cluster in India with hundreds of attendees testing coronavirus positive.
“Total 2,446 Indian members of Tablighi Jamaat have been living in Delhi centres. Those who have tested negative can be released as per protocol or standard operation procedure laid down by the Union Health Ministry,” the officer added.
They must be sent to their home states, the officer said, but it must be ensured they go straight to their homes, not to any other place. The social distancing rules and protocols should not be violated.
“Members of the Islamic sect who are residents of Delhi should be issued passes for travel to their homes. They should not be allowed to go anywhere else or allowed to stay in mosques,” the officer adds.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain last week said over 4,000 Tablighi Jamaat members who have completed mandatory quarantine and show no coronavirus symptoms can go home.
However, the minister also said Delhi Police can take action on those Jamaat members who are named in Delhi Police’s ongoing investigation into the “Markaz” Nizamuddin incident in March.
The Union Home Ministry had blacklisted hundreds of foreigners for their involvement in the activities of the religious group.
Legal proceedings would be initiated against all blacklisted Tablighi Jamaat workers under Section 14 of Foreigners Act, which involves misuse of visa, an official had told NDTV last month. States were also asked to take action against them.