Eight Malaysian nationals who were identified as Tablighi Jamaat members have been intercepted by immigration authorities and deboarded from a flight to Kuala Lumpur, said officials.
This happened when they tried to escape from India in a rescue Malindo Air Flight from Delhi to Kuala Lumpur via Mumbai. Around 30 Malaysian nationals were being evacuated via the plane.
Immigration officers informed the police and officials of the ministry of health post the intervention, made in response to a lookout notice against several foreigners, who are believed to have attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation at its Nizamuddin headquarters in March in violation of their visa conditions.
The government has already blacklisted over 900 such foreigners and invoked provisions of the Disaster Management Act and the Foreign Management Act against them.
Last week, the authorities had evacuated around 2000 Tablighi Jamaat activists from the Nizamuddin building. Hundreds of them spread to 17 Indian states. The health ministry on Saturday announced that one-third of all Covid-19 infections in the country belongs to Jaamat members and their contacts.
A home ministry release that announced the blacklisting of 960 foreigners for attending the congregation in violation of the visa rules said most were from Indonesia (379), Bangladesh (110), Kyrgyzstan (77), Myanmar (63) and Thailand (65).
Many foreign nationals who attended the religious gathering, among other Indians, have tested positive for Covid-19 and nearly 22,000 Tablighi Jamaat members and their contacts have been quarantined across the country so far, a home ministry official said on Saturday.
(With Agency Inputs)