MHA asks states, UTs to screen Rohingyas for COVID-19 as many of them attended Nizamuddin meet

New Delhi: The Home Ministry has asked all states and UTs to screen Rohingya Muslims living under their jurisdiction for COVID-19 as many of them had attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin, officials said on Friday. In a communication to Chief Secretaries and DGPs, the ministry said there […]

New Delhi: The Home Ministry has asked all states and UTs to screen Rohingya Muslims living under their jurisdiction for COVID-19 as many of them had attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin, officials said on Friday.

In a communication to Chief Secretaries and DGPs, the ministry said there have been reports that several Rohingya Muslims have attended ‘Ijtemas’ and other religious congregations of Tablighi Jamaat and there is a possibility of their contracting COVID-19.

The ministry said the Rohingyas residing in camps in Hyderabad had attended Tablighi Jamaat ‘Ijtema’ at Haryana’s Mewat, and had also attended the meet at the national capital’s Nizamuddin.

Similarly, Rohingyas living in Delhi’s Shram Vihar and Shaheen Bagh localities who had gone for Tablighi Jamaat activities, have not returned to their camps, it said.

There are also reports from Derabassi, Punjab, and Jammu area of Jammu and Kashmir about the presence of Rohingya Muslims, who have come there after working for Tablighi Jamaat, the ministry said.

“Therefore, Rohingya Muslims and their contacts may need to be screened for COVID-19. Accordingly, necessary measures may be taken in this regard on priority,” the communication said.

According to the home ministry, there are around 40,000 Rohingya refugees living in different parts of the country, including in Delhi, Jammu and Hyderabad.

Last month, eight Rohingya Muslims, who have been living in Jammu, were put in quarantine after they attended the Nizamuddin meet.

So far, more than 500 COVID-19 positive cases and about 20 deaths in the country were found to have links with the Tabligihi Jamaat meet at Nizamuddin.

Over 2,300 activists, including 250 foreigners of the Islamic organisation, were found to be living at its headquarters located at Delhi’s Nizamuddin last month despite the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus.

At least 9,000 people took part in the congregation at the Nizamuddin Markaz last month after which many travelled to various parts of the country for missionary works.

The participants included citizens of 41 nationalities –379 Indonesians, 110 Bangladeshi, 77 from Kyrgyzstan, 75 Malaysian, 65 Thai, 63 Myanmarese and 33 Sri Lankans.

The home ministry had also asked the Delhi Police and police chiefs of other states, where these foreigners are currently living, to take legal action under the Foreigners Act and the Disaster Management Act.

The Home Ministry had said about 2,100 foreigners have come to India since January 1 and indulged in Tablighi activities in different parts of the country.

Source Article

Lois C. Ferrara

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