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12 from Bangladesh booked for Foreigners Act violation

Maharashtra NCP minister says Union home ministry gave go-ahead for preachers’ meet; 22,000 members, contacts quarantined

  • Published 4.04.20, 10:25 PM
  • Updated 4.04.20, 10:25 PM
  • 3 mins read
Attendees of a religious congregation in Delhis Nizamuddin area board an ambulance for mandatory COVID-19 tests during a nationwide lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, in Agartala, Saturday, April 4, 2020. PTI

An FIR has been registered against 12 Bangladesh citizens who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi last month and are now in administrative quarantine in UP's Shamli district, police said on Saturday.

Two persons tested positive for Covid-19 Friday evening out of the dozen Bangladeshi nationals who have been quarantined in a college in Thana Bhawan town in Shamli district, they said.

They have all been booked for violation of the Foreigners Act, 1946 by the Thana Bhawan police station in the district, officials said.

Police said they have also booked two more persons who had sheltered them after the 12 people were found in a mosque at Bhasani village and were later shifted to the quarantine ward.

1,023 COVID-19 positive cases with links to Tablighi Jamaat reported from 17 states: Health ministry

As many as 1,023 Covid-19 positive cases found in 17 states have been traced to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation, the Union health ministry said on Saturday, underlining that about 30 per cent of the total coronavirus cases in the country are linked to "one particular place".

Joint Secretary in the ministry Lav Agarwal said in the daily media briefing that the rate of doubling of Covid-19 cases in India is pretty less as compared to other countries.

He said a total of 2,902 Covid-19 cases have been reported so far and cases have risen by 601 since Friday. The joint secretary said as many as 68 deaths, including 12 since Friday, have been reported and added that 183 people have recovered or have been discharged.

A total of 1,023 Covid-19 positive cases with links to Tablighi Jamaat congregation have been reported across 17 states, Agarwal said.

"Rigorous contact tracing is on across 17 states which have reported cases related to Tablighi Jamaat congregation," the health ministry official said.

"Around 30 per cent of the total cases so far are linked to one particular place where we could not sort of understand it and manage it, he said.

The Tablighi Jamaat congregation was held earlier last month in Delhi's West Nizamuddin area, which has now been designated as a hotspot.

22,000 under quarantine

Nearly 22,000 Tablighi Jamaat members and their contacts have been quarantined across the country so far, a home ministry official said on Saturday.

During the daily briefing, Punya Salila Srivastava, a joint secretary in the Union Home Ministry, told reporters that the Union government undertook "massive efforts" in coordination with states to find out the Jamaat members and their contacts.

All issues related to the ongoing lockdown are being monitored by a 24x7 control room of the Ministry of Home Affairs here, she said, adding that about 200 personnel from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Central Armed Police Forces are linked to it on the ground level.

Tablighi Jamaat event attendees should be 'caught’

People who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi should be "caught" and their mobile phones seized to examine call details, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said in Lucknow on Saturday.

The chief minister said the "intentional violation of social distancing norms or spreading of chaos", despite the lockdown, are part of a well-planned conspiracy, the Uttar Pradesh government said in a statement.

"Be very strict with such people. Those who participated in the Tablighi Jamaat event should be caught. Seize their mobile phones and check their call details. Examine their belongings and if anything suspicious is found, seize it. Pay special attention to the cleanliness and sanitisation of the places where such people are staying," Adityanath directed members of 'Team-11'.

The team has 11 senior officials as its members and was constituted by Adityanath following the outbreak of Covid-19.

Event allowed by Union home ministry’

Maharashtra minister Jitendra Awhad on Saturday said the Tablighi Jamaat event held in Delhi last month was allowed by the Union Home Ministry headed by Amit Shah and not by the Delhi Police.

Posting a video on social media, the NCP leader, who represents the Mumbra-Kalwa Assembly constituency in Thane district, also denied allegations of plying appeasement politics.

"I had immediately appealed to people in Mumbra to shut mosques and remain indoors," he said.

He also hailed the state government, in which his party is one of the constituents, for denying permission to a Jamaat event which was supposed to be held in Vasai in neighbouring Palghar district earlier this year.

Naveen appeals to Nizamuddin returnees

A day after Odisha recorded a four-fold jump in Covid-19 cases, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday appealed to all who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Nizamuddin to come forward and get tested for coronavirus.

In a message after Odisha reported 15 cases on a single day on Friday, Patnaik said there is nothing to be afraid of the disease, which can be checked through awareness.

"I request all the persons from Odisha who attended the event in Nizamuddin to immediately contact toll-free number 104, consult doctors and come forward for corona test within 24 hours," he said.

Cooperate with the government in the effort to detect the coronavirus, Patnaik said, adding that any delay will put them and their families at risk.

"Your cooperation will not only benefit your family, but the entire human race," he said.