Immigration authorities at the Chennai International Airport on April 5 detained 10 Malaysian nationals who had arrived in India on a tourist visa and had attended the Tablighi Jamaat conference in New Delhi. They were later handed over the Central Crime Branch (CCB) officials.
Police sources claimed the foreign nationals were involved in the Jamaat activities in Tenkasi district between March 14 and March 26 after returning from Delhi. They were intercepted by the immigration officers onboard a special flight that was made available for the benefit of stranded Malaysians to reach back home.
According to the police, the 10 Malaysian nationals had stayed in Nizamuddin in Delhi until March 11 after attending the conference. Following this, they arrived in Chennai on March 12 by train and went to Tenkasi on March 13.
“From March 14 to 26, along with two locals Moulana Hamid and Moulana Moideen, they visited different mosques in Tenkasi, Courtallam and Vallam for the Jamaat activities,” a police officer said. On April 5, the 10 Malaysian nationals, along with 127 others, reached the Chennai airport from different parts of the State.
They were supposed to fly back to their country on a Malindo Air flight specially arranged by the Malaysian government to help its citizens stranded abroad. However, when they reached the immigration counter, the officers found that they had attended the Delhi conference and stopped them from flying out of the country.
They informed the Central Crime Branch of the city police. “They had violated the visa rules and even during the COVID-19 lockdown they were going around Tenkasi district for their religious activities,” said a senior police officer.
Also read | Tablighi event: Shobha smells ‘Corona jihad’
The CCB team, wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), picked them up.
“We have booked cases under provisions of the National Disaster Management Act, Section 14 of the Foreigners Act, Sections 188, 269 and 271 of IPC and Epidemic Diseases Act,” said an officer.
All ten of them will be produced before the Alandur Court and taken to Government Stanley Medical College Hospital for conducting COVID-19 tests.
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