Published On: Fri, Apr 17th, 2020

Centre directs states to screen Rohingyas who attended Tablighi jamaat

New Delhi: The government on Friday asked all the states and Union Territories to conduct coronavirus screening of Rohingyas who attended the religious congregations of the Tablighi Jamaat.

Rohingyas who attended the congregation and their contacts may have contracted Covid-19

Official sources said that the Union Home Ministry issued the direction after intelligence agencies reported to the government that Rohingyas living in camps at various places had attended the religious congregations of the Tablighi Jamaat, the Islamic missionary which became a ‘super-spreader’ of the Covid-19 infection in the country.

Rohingyas who attended the congregation and their contacts may have contracted Covid-19, the Centre has conveyed to the state governments.

As per the intelligence reports, the Rohingyas residing in camps in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana had attended the Tablighi Jamaat ‘Ijtema’ at Mewat in Haryana and then visited the Markaz at Nizamuddin in New Delhi where 1,306 foreigners from 41 countries attended the congregation on March 13.

The event led to a sudden spike in coronavirus cases with many of them getting traced to the congregation.

Sources said the agencies also reported to the top brass of the government that a group of Rohingyas living in Shram Vihar near Shaheen Bagh — one of the major sites for the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests — in the national capital also joined the Tablighi Jamaat activities last month.

The Shaheen Bagh Rohingyas have not returned to their camps after attending the Tablighi events, sources said.

Some of the Rohingyas are learnt to have visited the Derabassi area in Punjab and Jammu after attending Tablighi activities in the national capital.

The Home Ministry instructed the states to pursue the investigations on priority so that all the Rohingya Muslims and their contacts could be quarantined on time if they are found positive with the deadly disease which has claimed 452 lives while the number of active cases has gone beyond the 11,500-mark across the country.

The Rohingyas and their contacts across the country, sources said, will be screened for coronavirus.

As over 22,500 Tablighi Jamaat members and their contacts were identified across the country till last week, the states and the UTs have now been tasked to trace the Rohingya Muslims who attended the Tablighi events.

Over 40,000 Rohingiyas entered illegally into India through Bangladesh and have been living in camps in several states, primarily in Jammu, Assam and West Bengal.

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