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BOMBAY HC: FIRs AGAINST TABLIGHI JAMAAT “SCAPEGOAT”

Focus: GS-II Governance

Why in news?

The Bombay high court struck down criminal cases registered against 34 people, including 28 foreign Tablighi Jamaat members, in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district, saying foreign nationals were virtually persecuted.

Details

  • The Bombay High Court said that a political Government tries to find scapegoat when there is pandemic or calamity, and the circumstances show that there is probability that these foreigners were chosen to make them scapegoats.
  • The material of the present matter shows that the propaganda against the so-called religious activity was unwarranted.

Background

  • The Jamaat hit the headlines in March when authorities blamed a congregation at its headquarters in New Delhi’s Nizamuddin area for a jump in Covid-19 infections. The headquarters was sealed and thousands of attendees, including foreigners from countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, and the US, were quarantined.
  • The Jamaat, which has followers in over 80 countries, maintained many visitors at its headquarters were stranded after the government declared a lockdown to check the pandemic spread.
  • The Centre blacklisted around 1,500 foreign Tablighi members for violating their visa norms and multiple cases were registered against them across the country.
  • The high court said foreigners having valid visas to enter India cannot be prevented from visiting mosques if they go there to observe religious practices.

-Source: Hindustan Times

February 2023
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