Pune Police file FIR against 8 foreign Tablighi Jamaat members

They violated Foreigners Act and guidelines of the lockdown

The Pune Police on Sunday booked eight Tanzanian nationals associated with the Tablighi Jamaat for violating the Foreigners Act and lockdown regulations issued by the district administration in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. They had come to Pune on March 11 and had stayed at different mosques, including Khadki, Hadapsar, Kondhwa, and Mominpura.

While it is unclear whether they had participated in the Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi, the objective of the eight, who had entered the city on tourist visas, was to preach and indulge in propaganda about the Jamaat, officials said.

An FIR was lodged at Samarth police station following a complaint from the Foreigners Registration Office of the Pune Police under Sections 188 (disobedience of order duly promulgated by public servant), 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), and 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) of the Indian Penal Code and sections of the Foreigners Act, as well as for violating the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.

“These foreign nationals had entered the city on tourist visas on March 11. We came to know that they were living in different mosques on March 23. They had violated home quarantine instructions. After lodging a complaint against them, we have placed them under institutional quarantine,” Joint Commissioner of Police, Ravindra Shisve, said.

According to information from Pune district authorities, 136 people from Pune district had either attended or were present on the premises during the fortnight-long conclave hosted by the Tablighi Jamaat in the first two weeks of March.

Of the 136, 33 are from Pimpri-Chinchwad and the rest from Pune. Till now, only 70 of them have been traced while four people — two each from Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad — have tested positive for the virus. The remaining 66 samples have tested negative.

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