The Indian government has decided to ban foreign members of the Tablighi Jamaat from entering India for ten years, accusing them of violating visa rules.
Legal experts affiliated with the Hacken Tablighi Jamaat have decided to challenge the government’s allegations of misuse of visas against members of the Tablighi Jamaat in foreign courts in court. People come to visit religious places only on tourist visas, and in this regard, the present government is discriminating against Muslims.
The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs has decided to blacklist the passports of those coming to India from abroad who had come to India and participated in the activities of the Tablighi Jamaat. The Indian government is of the view that such persons came to India on tourist visas, and under this, their participation in religious preaching activities is illegal.
The Interior Ministry had compiled a list of 2,550 people who it said were in India during the lockdown of the coronavirus epidemic and have been blacklisted in a landmark decision. It includes citizens from about 47 countries around the world, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
The Indian government alleges that most of them were present at the Tablighi Center when the Coronavirus epidemic was discovered. These people did not care about restrictions, and their movement also caused the spread of the coronavirus. But the main reason for the ban is said to be a violation of visa rules. The Interior Ministry says the blacklisted individuals were on tourist visas in India and are not allowed to participate in any religious programs.
But in this case, the lawyer of Tablighi Jamaat, Mujeeb-ur-Rehman, said that this argument of the government was completely baseless. Talking to DW, he said, “Whether it is attending the Amarnath Yatra, visiting an ashram or a monastery or attending a gurdwara in Amritsar, all come to India on tourist visas. So why is it allowed? Isn’t Kumbh Mela a religious pilgrimage?
He said that the people of Tablighi Jamaat do not come to preach Islam, among others, but visit mosques for the purpose of understanding and interpreting Islam among the Muslims themselves. Their scope is limited to the Muslim community, and they try to understand Islam in that area.
Mujeeb-ur-Rehman says visa rules in India are also based on religious discrimination. For example, if a Muslim stays in India longer than the validity of the visa, he is legally liable to a large fine for being a Muslim, but if he is of Hindu or any other religion, the amount is very small. “These non-discriminatory attitudes and rules of the government will be challenged in court.
Responding to a question, he said that since the courts were no longer independent and their attitude was based on discrimination, it would be challenged not at this time but at the appropriate time. Citing several examples, he said: “There is a lot of pressure on the courts, they are not completely independent, and they too have come down on the government to flatter the time. So not yet, they will be challenged at the appropriate time.”
In late March, news spread like wildfire in India that the global center of the Tablighi Jamaat in Nizamuddin, Delhi, was also a major center for the spread of the coronavirus and had been heavily criticized. In this regard, the Indian media has been targeting Muslims, especially the center of the Tablighi Jamaat. However, many circles also blame the local administration for this.
In Nizamuddin, the wall of the Delhi Police Station meets the wall of the Tablighi Jamaat center. Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, the center had been home to more than 2,000 people. Observers say that when the government suddenly announced the lockdown, there were still about two and a half thousand people living there, and the police were well aware of the situation.
Due to the lockdown, all means of transportation were abruptly shut down, and despite all the requests from the people at the center, the administration did not help them, and they had no choice but to stay at the center. ۔ But the government and the Indian media put all the responsibility for this situation on the Tablighi Jamaat.