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Jakarta Post

COVID-19: 361 Indonesian Tablighi Jamaat members return home, others still stranded overseas

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, June 4, 2020   /   03:34 pm
COVID-19: 361 Indonesian Tablighi Jamaat members return home, others still stranded overseas A health official conducts rapid testing on a member of the Jamaah Tabligh congregation in Kedu, Temanggung, Central Java, on April 20. The regency's COVID-19 task force conducted rapid testing on 84 Jamaah Tabligh members recently participating in a "tabligh Akbar" (Islamic mass gathering) event in Gowa, South Sulawesi, in March. (Antara/Anis Efizudin)

More than 300 Indonesian members of Tablighi Jamaat, a worldwide Islamic missionary movement, have returned to Indonesia while hundreds of others are still stranded overseas as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foreign Ministry has said.

“They were spread across 13 countries with a total of 1,165 people, 361 of whom have returned to Indonesia,” said the ministry's director for citizen protection Judha Nugraha in a statement on Wednesday.

Judha did not provide further details about where the returning Tablighi Jamaat came from. However, according to the ministry's data as of May 27, many of those who have returned home came from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Jordan, Morocco, Kuwait and Thailand.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Indonesian members of Tablighi Jamaat are still stranded in India as many face legal proceedings relating to several violations that they allegedly committed during the lockdown period in the South Asian country.

Earlier reports said that they were accused of being negligent causing the spread of COVID-19, violating the Epidemic Disease Act, having immigration issues and refusing to comply with the instructions of local authorities.

Citing reports from the Indian police to local courts, Judha said 334 Indonesian citizens had been reported for violations by the Indian authorities and were undergoing legal proceedings.

“At least 151 Indonesians are still in custody,” he said as quoted by kompas.com, adding that 31 had been released.

Judha said the government had provided legal assistance to ensure the Indonesians were treated with justice according to their rights.

The stranded Indonesians in India will be brought home as soon as they complete their legal proceedings and their quarantine period, as well as having obtained an exit permit from the Indian government.

They will conduct self-repatriation while being facilitated by the Indonesian government, Judha said. (asp)