The Federation of Muslims Organisations and Political Parties (FMOPP) I Tamil Nadu has demanded the immediate release of foreign Tablighi Jamaat preachers arrested in the state for various violations, including misusing the visitors' visa.
Times of India in a report said that FMOPP has condemned the arrest of Tablighi preachers who were on a pilgrimage in Tamil Nadu.
FMOPP President Kajamoinudeen Bakavi called for the deportation of the preachers to their respective countries and until then, the Tamil Nadu government should treat them respectfully.
Terming the state government’s approach as “anti-minority”, Bakavi said the preachers’ were arrested on false complaints. He alleged that the preachers were treated “like terrorists” and wondered if the state government would do the same to members of other religions.
The Tamil Nadu government has arrested Tablighi Jamaat preachers from countries such as Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Ethiopia, France, Congo, and Belgium primarily for violation of the Foreigners Act. These preachers have come on tourists’ visa, which bars them for indulging in any religious activity or taking part in religious meetings.
The preachers have also been charged with not adhering to Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code on curfew and indulging in religious propagation despite knowing that they had been affected by Coronavirus (Covid-19). They have also been booked under the Epidemic Diseases Act.
Quite a few of the foreign Tablighi Jamaat preachers were found hiding in various mosques and police had to arrest them while checking the mosques.
A majority of the Tablighi Jamaat preachers came to Chennai after attending the Nizamuddin Aalami Markaz congregations last month in Delhi.
The Tablighi Jamaat congregation’s returnees are the source of at least 85 per cent of Coronavirus cases in Tamil Nadu.
So far, 1,629 persons have tested positive for Covid-19 in Tamil Nadu with 18 deaths being reported.
The Union Home Ministry has said that it had identified over 800 Tablighi Jamaat preachers who had violated the Foreigners Act and blacklisted them.
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