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    Tablighi Jamaat event: MHA blacklists 960 foreigners for violating visa norms

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    After the fiasco over Tablighi Jamaat followers flouting visa norms to visit the country, resulting in a huge spike in COVID-19 cases, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has blacklisted 960 foreigners. According to the ministry, these foreigners, present in India on tourist visas, were involved in the activities of the missionary.

    The MHA has also directed the DGPs of all states and Union territories and the Commissioner of Police, Delhi to take necessary legal action against such violators, on priority, under relevant sections of the Foreigners Act, 1946 and Disaster Management Act, 2005.

    The action came a day after National Security Advisor Ajit Doval intervened in the matter. He not only spoke to the Tablighi Jamaat management to convince them to cooperate with the law enforcement and health agencies as COVID-19 positive cases spiked among its followers but also took stock of the gaps in security arrangements that led to the health crisis.

    On Wednesday, Cabinet Secretary A.K. Bhalla also sensitised the state governments about the need for intensive contact tracing of Tablighi Jamaat participants as several of the attendees had tested positive for the deadly virus. 

    The states were asked to complete the contact tracing process on a war footing. Official sources said that it has been found that the foreigners who had participated in the Tablighi Jamaat event had violated the visa conditions.  An inquiry has been ordered into the matter even as the states were asked to initiate action for violation of visa condition against the foreigners and the organizers of the event.

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