After Tablighis, how Rohingya Muslims are now posing a challenge in the COVID-19 fight
New Delhi, Apr 18: The Tablighi Jamaat congregation contributed to a steep rise in the number of coronavirus cases in India. The Jamaat members after attending the congregation at Nizamuddin last month spanned out to different parts of the country and spread the virus-like wildfire.
Even as the states continue to cope with the menace that the Tablighis created, the Home Ministry has now asked both states and Union Territories to investigate the links between the Tablighis and Rohingya. The letter written by Srinivasu K, deputy secretary internal security division-1 said that the Rohingya Muslims have attended several congregations of the Tablighi Jamaat. There is a possibility that they may have contracted COVID-19.
There are around 40,000 Rohingyas living in different parts of the country and only 17,000 have registered as refugees with the UNHCR.
Officials in the MHA tell OneIndia that this is a new headache and the states and UTs have to act urgently to ensure that the virus does not spread further. Many who had gone to the various congregations have not returned. Further, a thorough probe is being undertaken to find out how these Rohingyas attended the congregation despite living illegally in India. The probe would also focus around, how the Tablighi Jamaat managed to bring in so many Rohingyas into their congregations.
It was found that the Rohingya Muslims had attended the Ijtemas and other religious congregations of the Tablighi Jamaat. They have attended congregations in Mewat, Haryana and also the meet at Nizamuddin. It was found that the Rohingyas living in Hyderabad had attended this meet.
There were Rohingyas from Delhi's Shram Vihar and Shaheen Bagh too who had taken part in the activities of the Tablighi. The worry is that they have not returned to their camps as yet. They must be hiding in some states and it is now for the government to undertake a drive to track them, the officer cited above said.
Further, the Home Ministry also pointed out that there are Rohingya Muslims living in Derabassi, Punjab and Jammu. These persons arrived at these places after attending the Tablighi congregation. These persons need to be tracked and screened for COVID-19. This should be done on priority, the MHA has also said. In Jammu, 8 Rohingyas were put under quarantine after they attended the Nizamuddin event.
Apart from the Rohingyas, the Tablighis also hosted foreign nationals. Most of these persons were found to be hiding in various Mosques in the country to avoid the law. It was found that citizens of 41 nationalities had attended the event last month. There were 379 Indonesians, 110 Bangladeshis, 75 Malaysians, 65 Thai, 77 from Kyrgyzstan, 33 from Sri. Lanka and 63 from Myanmar who had attended the Nizamuddin congregation last month.