MHA released new guidelines for Tablighi Foreigners: Blacklisted Tablighi can't enter India for 10 years

ST Staff
Friday, 5 June 2020

The MHA has blacklisted 2,600 Tablighi Foreigners as of 2nd June. The blacklisted foreigners are restricted from entering India for 10 years under 'Category A' in Visa Manual 2018, and cannot apply for a visa to visit India from any missions abroad.

Any individual coming from a foreign land and engaging in 'Tablighi Activities' will be heavily fined at $500. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) made an addition to 'General Policy Guidelines relating to Indian Visa' by adding restrictions against people indulging in any Tablighi Activities. In general, the guidelines give information on 24 categories of visas.

"Foreign nationals granted any type of visa and Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cardholders shall not be permitted to engage themselves in Tablighi work. There will be no restriction in visiting religious places and attending normal religious activities like attending religious discourses. However, preaching religious ideologies, making speeches in religious places, distribution of audio or visual display/ pamphlets pertaining to religious ideologies, spreading conversion etc. will not be allowed, " read the new instructions in General Policy Guidelines relating to Indian Visa.

Visa holders who overstay (more than two years) or/and visit protected areas, will be fined with $500.

After blacklisting 960 foreigners who were a part of Tablighi Jamaat event which took place in early March at Nizamuddin Markaz, Delhi, the MHA has blacklisted 2,600 Tablighi Foreigners as of 2nd June. The blacklisted foreigners are restricted from entering India for 10 years under 'Category A' in Visa Manual 2018, and cannot apply for a visa to visit India from any missions abroad.

On 2nd April, Gujarat Govt submitted a letter to MHA raising the issues of Visa Violations. The letter read, "The Bureau of Immigration (BoI) has intimated that 960 foreigners of different nationalities as identified on the basis of their travel documents have been found to be involved in Tabligh Jamaat activities on the strength of their tourist visa. Their Tabligh activities have endangered many lives in the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency."

The Uttar Pradesh Govt informed Allahabad High Court, as soon as Tablighi Foreigners were released from institutional quarantine, 279 Tablighi Workers were put in jail, while 46 left the country.

Missionary Visa will be granted to organisations after MHA analyses and approves their religious work.

 

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