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Jakarta Post

Hundreds of Indonesian 'tabligh' attendees sent to judicial custody in India

  • Apriza Pinandita

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, May 7, 2020   /   11:15 am
Hundreds of Indonesian 'tabligh' attendees sent to judicial custody in India A police officer wearing a protective mask stands outside a shop as people line up to buy liquor during an extended nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of the COVID-19, in New Delhi, India on May 4. (Reuters/Adnan Abidi)

Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi has said that at least 276 Indonesian Tablighi Jamaat members in locked-down India have been reported to the police for allegedly violating quarantine and immigration measures in the country.

Of the total, at least 138 are in judicial custody and are due for legal proceedings, Retno said in a virtual press briefing on Wednesday.

Indonesia has at least 727 of its citizens — members of the worldwide Islamic missionary movement — stranded in India.

“This is not an easy situation. Therefore, since the very beginning we have been paying attention to their condition,” she said.

Since March 25, India has imposed a nationwide lockdown that is expected to be lifted on May 17 after being extended twice.

In the meantime, many of the members of Tablighi Jamaat, including Indonesian citizens, were unable to return to their respective countries after attending a tabligh (Islamic mass gathering) in Delhi.

Read also: COVID-19: More than 1,000 Indonesian Tablighi Jamaat members stranded overseas

Since the lockdown was imposed, a string of First Information Reports (FIR) has been filed against Tablighi Jamaat members across the country, ranging from violating quarantine orders to indecent behavior in hospitals, The Statesman reported.

India witnessed a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases last month after more than 1,000 people linked to the religious gathering at Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi tested positive. At least 17 states have reported COVID-19 cases linked to the gathering, the news outlet reported last month.

Foreign Ministry director for citizens protection Judha Nugraha said Wednesday that the ministry, alongside Indonesian missions in India, were focusing on helping the accused citizens get their rights fulfilled while the legal process was underway.

“It includes providing them with legal assistance,” Judha said.

As of Wednesday, India has reported more than 49,300 cases of COVID-19 with 1,694 deaths.