India blacklists 960 foreigners, cancels visas for Tablighi links

India blacklists 960 foreigners, cancels visas for Tablighi links

New Delhi : India on Thursday blacklisted 960 foreigners involved in Tablighi Jamaat activities and also cancelled their tourist visas for violating the lockdown measures imposed nationwide to break the chain of novel coronavirus pandemic.

The Ministry of Home Affairs took the action amid its ongoing efforts to identify the contacts of over 9,000 identified Tabligi Jamaat workers who have been to the Tablighi Jamaat headquarters in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area, prompting authorities to intensify efforts to trace them since they may be carrying the virus and potentially infecting others.

“A total of 960 foreigners have been blacklisted and their Indian visas have also been canceled as the Ministry of Home Affairs found their involvement in Tablighi activities here on tourist visas,” Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted.

The Home Ministry has also directed the Director Generals of Police of all concerned states and Union Territories (UTs) and Delhi Commissioner of Police to take necessary legal action against all such violators, on priority, under relevant sections of the Foreigners Act, 1946 and Disaster Management Act, 2005.

The 960 foreigners are among those 1,306 who came from different countries here on tourist visas and took part in the congregation, organised by the Tablighi Jamaat at the Nizamuddin Markaz last month, which led to a sudden spike in coronavirus cases in different parts of the country.

In a frantic search for thousands of people who participated in the congregation, the government on Wednesday directed the states and Union Territories (UTs) to complete their contact tracing on a “war footing” to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.