Arrest of Foreign Tablighi Jamaat Activists will Tarnish India’s Image Globally: SDPI

Adv. Sharfuddin Ahmad, vice president of Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) has expressed apprehension that arrest of foreign Tablighi Jamaat activists may tarnish India’s image internationally. These foreign activists were held up at various locations in the country following the abrupt announcement of lockdown due to Coronavirus pandemic.

A bench headed by Justice Suresh Sharma of MP High Court has ordered a 14-day judicial custody of 51 Tablighi Jamaat members on Friday, while 18 members were sent to jail a day earlier on May 14 until May 27. The court has also revoked their bail pleas. The foreigners who have been sent to judicial custody belong to Kazakhistan, Uzbekistan, Indonesia, Myanmar, South Africa, Tanzania, Canada, United Kingdom and Pennsylvania.

Adv. Ahmad in a statement has urged the central and state government to revoke the penal charges slapped against these foreign activists and send them back to their home countries honourably before image of the country is dented further.

He pointed out that foreigners of all faiths have been coming to India on tourist visa and participating in religious activities, since long. It is no secret and is being done with the full knowledge of various government agencies. It is not something new that the activists of Tablighi Jamaat from foreign countries too visit India legally to participate in religious congregations. So, harassing these foreign Tablighi Jamaat activists charging them of violating Sections 13 and 14 of Foreigners Act, 1946 is absolutely unfair.

Adv. Ahmad demanded that they should be released forthwith and their passports restored with arrangements made to have them fly back home with honour and dignity they deserve.