Mumbai, April 9
An FIR was registered by Nagpur police against eight Myanmar nationals, all members of the “Tablighi Jamaat” organisation, for allegedly violating self-quarantine rules and staying at a mosque in Nagpur, in Maharashtra, without informing the local police, on Wednesday.
These persons did not attend the religious congregation by Tablighi Jamaat at Nizamuddin in Delhi last month, which has emerged as a major coronavirus hotspot in the country. However they have been staying in mosque in violation of regulations, official sources said.
The eight persons, all hailing from Yangon city of Myanmar, arrived in Nagpur on March 7. After staying at a mosque in Gittikhadan area till March 21, they shifted to another mosque building in Tehsil area without informing the police and flouted the self-quarantine rules. They were staying at a mosque in Nagpur without informing the local administration, which also amounts to violation of the Foreigners Act.
Acting on a tip-off, the police recently conducted checking at the mosque where they found the foreign nationals and informed the health authorities.
As a precaution all the eight persons, have been quarantined at an MLA hostel in Nagpur. They have been booked under IPC Sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life). They have also been charged under provisions of the Foreigners Act 1946 and the Disaster Management Act 1897 (as amended in 2005).
In similar incident the Navi Mumbai Police on Sunday registered an FIR against three Philippines nationals and six Indians, including a trustee of a mosque in Vashi, in Navi Mumbai. The case was filed against the foreign nationals for violating visa norms and entering Navi Mumbai illegally, while the mosque trustee was accused of hiding the foreign nationals in the wake of Covid-19 spread.
One of these accused Filipinos died of Covid-19 infection recently. The patient who initially tested positive for novel coronavirus, was under treatment at the BMC run Kasturba Hospital in North Mumbai. Then he was shifted to a private hospital after his test report came out to be negative. However, he died at the private hospital late night on March 23.
A person from the Noor Masjid in Vashi tested positive for novel coronavirus. Some locals had pointed out about some foreigners staying in the mosque. However, when police reached the spot, those at the mosque refused to talk and also opposed to get themselves tested. They told police that their religion forbids such testing. Later, police sent a doctor to convince them, following which, they agreed for the test.
The test results were positive for the trustee of the mosque, his one-and-half-year-old grandchild, daughter-in-law and one other family member. In total, six out of those from the mosque, who were put in isolation, were confirmed with Covid 19 infection.
According to police, the trustee had invited the people from the Philippines belonging to Tablighi Jamaat. The foreign nationals travelled, met people and gave sermons.
The trustee had hidden these foreigners in the mosque when the novel coronavirus started emerging in India. These people stayed in the Mosque between March 10 and March 16.
A case was filed against the trustee and foreign nationals under Sections 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), Section 269 (Negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and Section 270 (Malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) of Indian Penal Code (IPC), Section 3 and 4 of Epidemic Act 1897, Section 14 of Foreigners Act 1946 and Maharashtra Covid-19 rule recently brought into force. As of now, the administration is trying to find all those people who came in contact with these infected persons so that the spread of Covid-19 could be curtailed.
Raju Vernekar is a Media Professional based in Mumbai and is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. He had served as Chief Reporter at Free Press Journal (1996 – 2015 ). His Activities includes writing for different news papers, script writing/production for TV channels, Films Division. Writing poems in Marathi, Hindi, English, Guiding mass media students and helping people to solve their problems. Raju may be contacted at [email protected]
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