Yogi Adityanath is a man of his words and he has wasted no time in putting the Tablighi Jamaat’s law breakers behind the bars after screening them for the deadly Wuhan virus. According to news reports—the CM of Uttar Pradesh has sent as many as 17 residents of Indonesia and Thailand to Jail in Bahraich district after completing their stay at a quarantine centre–for violating the Passport Act and visa norms on Sunday.
They all had travelled to Baharich after attending the ominous Tablighi Jamaat event in Nizamuddin, Delhi that has thrown India’s chances to flatten the curve in a tizzy.
They were produced in front of the Magistrate after the mandated period of quarantine had ended. The foreign nationals have been charged under sections 269, 270, 271, 188, section 03 of the Epidemic Diseases Act (1897), section 12(3) of the Passport Act (1967), sections 14(b) and 14(c) of the Foreigners Act (1946) and section 56 of the Disaster Management Act (2005). The Jamaatis had lied and came to India on tourist visas.
According to the government spokesman, the police had arrested 21 Jamaatis including 17 foreign nationals from the Taj and Kuraish mosques and all of them were quarantined on March 31. Although they had tested negative, they all were put in quarantine.
The foreigners have had a massive hand in spreading the disease across the country. The congregation was attended by thousands of them from countries like Malaysia, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia to name a few. Notably the Jamaat is responsible for the spread of virus in Malaysia and Pakistan too, which has been extensively covered by TFI.
The Jamaati’s have been running around the country amuck—infecting those in contact, creating nuisance in hospitals with their sexual predatory behaviors and inciting violence against the authorities. Last week, eight people of the suicidal Tablighi Jamaat cult were caught at the Delhi IGI airport trying to flee to Malaysia via a special Malindo Air relief flight.
As a result, four Americans, nine British and six Chinese nationals were among the 960 foreign Tablighi Jamaat activists who were blacklisted and their tourist visas canceled by the Union Home Ministry, as a precautionary measure. As many as 77 Kyrgyzstan, 75 Malaysian, 65 Thai, 12 Vietnamese, 9 Saudi, and three French nationals were also among those Tablighi Jamaat activists who were blacklisted and their visas canceled.
And before that, the Home Ministry had blacklisted 800 Indonesian Islamic preachers from the same Tablighi Jamaat on 31 March.
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. India’s death toll from the COVID-19 has outbreak surged past 300 with the total cases pegged to touch 10,000 any day now.
Yogi Adityanath has set a precedent that the Jamaati’s would not be let off the hook easily and therefore all the state governments need to take a cue out of Yogi’s book of speedy justice and serve the same treatment to the Jamaati’s that have created ruckus and broken the laws.
Although putting them behind the bars would be a secondary thing to do, the state’s first need to come out and openly call a spade for a spade. Instead of referring Tablighi Jamaat’s cases as ‘single source’ or ‘under special operations’—the state CM’s that have resorted to such antics need to show some spine. The appeasement politics can be played any other time but not now.