By Muslim Mirror Staff
After getting clearance from India’s Ministry of Home Affairs, 16 Indonesian citizens associated with Islamic group Tablighi Jamaat took a flight back to their homeland from New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport late Friday night. They were arrested along with 41 other foreign Tablighis in Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh and sent to jail in April, days after the Nizamuddin Markaz incident. However, a Saharanpur court had ordered the release of all 57 foreign Tablighis last month.
The Markaz incident concerns a religious congregation participated by scores of local and international members of the Tablighi Jamaat, which led to spread of the coronavirus among several attendees of the event. Indian authorities prosecuted a large number of the group members after the incident. Moreover, India’s mainstream media purportedly misrepresented the incident with the help of rumours and wrong allegations that led to a rise in hatred against Muslims in India.
Giving details about the case, counsel for the Indonesian Tablighis in Saharanpur, Advocate Jaan Nisar Akhtar, “They were arrested on April 20. They were booked under various sections of Indian Penal Code including 188, 269 and 270, and section 3 of Epidemic Act and sections 14, 14B and 14C of the Foreign Act. When the chargesheet was filed on all these sections in the court, we argued against the charges. Consequently, the court found offence only on IPC section 188 and section 3 of Epidemic Act and removed all other sections. The court awarded them one-month imprisonment.”
Lok Sabha MP (Member of Parliament) from Saharanpur, Haji Fazlur Rahman had helped them in their legal fight.
In Saharanpur of Uttar Pradesh, as many as 57 foreign Tablighis were arrested and sent to jail. They included 16 from Indonesia, 21 from Kirghizstan, 5 from Sudan, 4 from Thailand, 2 from Malaysia and one each from Spain, Syria, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, France and Male.
All of them were released by the court last month and had since been staying at a local resort under the responsibility of their counsel and local community leader. The district administration had sought guidance from the Ministry of Home Affairs for their return to their home country. They were allowed to leave the country after a formal nod from the ministry.