Weeks after they arrived in Bhopal after attending the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in the national capital, 64 foreign nationals were booked for violating visa conditions and for acts which are likely to spread Covid-19.
Except for visa violations, 12 Indian associates of the congregation and 12 local supporters have also been booked under Sections 269 and 270 of the Indian Penal Code, Disaster Management Act and for violating prohibitory orders.
As many as 20 foreign nationals and their Indian associates have tested positive and have been hospitalized while the rest have been kept in isolation so far. ADG Upendra Jain told The Indian Express all of them will be arrested only after they are free of the infection. Most of them tested negative.
“We can’t run the risk of taking the infection to jails. Once the quarantine period is over, we will again send their samples for Covid-19 test. We are in no hurry to arrest them,” Jain said. The senior IPS officer added that the foreign nationals had violated the tourist visa by travelling to places despite knowing the risks associated with it due to the infection.
Cases against the foreign nationals have been registered in five police stations in Bhopal.
Barring those undergoing treatment for the infection, the remaining have been kept in different locations and their activities are being monitored, the officer said.
Some of them have been shifted to a shrine on the city’s outskirts after locals alleged that they were moving in the locality.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has, on several occasions, said the congregation members have increased the risk of spreading the infection in Bhopal. As many as 10 policemen and their family members have also tested positive so far.
Police said the forces contracted infection while cracking down on the congregation members in the city.
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