57 foreign Tablighis were arrested from Saharanpurand on April 20 and sent to jail. A Saharanpur court had ordered the release of all of them last month. But, they were allowed to leave the country only after formal nod from the ministry.
NEW DELHI — After getting a written clearance from the Union Home Ministry, a batch of 16 Indonesian Tablighis took a flight back to their home country from the Indira Gandhi International Airport here 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.
Talking to Clarion India over phone, counsel for the Indonesian Tablighis in Saharanpur, Advocate Jaan Nisar Akhtar informed that they were brought to Delhi from a resort in Saharanpur Friday evening and they took the flight late last night.
“They were 16 from Indonesia. They left for their home country through a flight from Delhi around 2:30 AM on Friday. The court had passed verdict in their favour on June 10 and we secured their release from jail on June 13. Since then they were under our responsibility and were staying at a resort in Saharanpur,” said Adv. Akhtar.
Giving details about the case, the lawyer said: “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 from Saharanpur, Haji Fazlur Rahman had helped them in their legal fight.
Talking to Clarion India, Rahman said their arrest was wrong and a section of media spread rumours about them.
“The government had wrongly arrested them. Along with them, many Tablighi people from districts of the state were also arrested. I thank God that all of them have now been released. This was the first batch of foreign Tablighis who have now left for their home country. Many other foreigners are still there. I hope they all will go home,” said the Bahujan Samaj Party MP.
He said that the continuous rise in cases of Coronavirus across the country has flattened the propaganda against Tablighi Jamaat people.
“A rumour was spread about the Tablighis. Almost all Jamaatis have got recovered. The rumour about them is over as the Coronavirus is still spreading in the country. The foreign Tablighis had entered India through the airports. They were not smuggled in. But to hide its own failures, the government put the blame on them. Now everything has become crystal clear,” said the MP.
After the March 30-31 Nizamuddin Markaz incident when over 2300 people including several hundred foreigners were taken out of the Tablighi Jamaat headquarters in Delhi, several thousand people related to the Tablighi Jamaat were rounded up in various districts across the country. Hundreds of foreign nationals were charged with visa rules violation and sent to jail.
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 Union Home Ministry for their return to their home country. They were allowed to leave the country after formal nod from the ministry.