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Jakarta Post

More Indonesian Tablighi Jamaat members fined in India for visa, quarantine violations

  • Budi Sutrisno

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, August 8, 2020   /   09:32 am
More Indonesian Tablighi Jamaat members fined in India for visa, quarantine violations A health official conducts a COVID-19 rapid test on a member of the Jamaah Tabligh congregation in Kedu, Temanggung, Central Java, on April 20. (Antara/Anis Efizudin)

A court in India has found hundreds of Indonesian members of Islamic missionary movement Tablighi Jamaat guilty of violating visa and COVID-19 quarantine rules.

Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said as many as 431 Indonesians had accepted the court ruling as of Friday. They were required to pay penalties ranging from 5,000 Indian rupees (US$67) to 10,000 rupees.

“The 431 Indonesians will receive assistance to get a clearance from the Indian Foreign Ministry as well as an immigration exit permit as the requirements to return to Indonesia,” Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said in a press briefing on Friday.

More than 400 Indonesians had gone on trial throughout July for allegedly violating immigration and quarantine policies in the South Asian country. They were stranded in India after attending a Tablighi Jamaat gathering in the capital of New Delhi.

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

During the hearings, most defendants admitted to committing violations but told the court that they had never intended to break the law.

Retno added that five Indonesians had pleaded not guilty, prompting their trials to continue. “The Indonesian Embassy will continue to provide legal assistance.”

In addition, 286 Indonesian members of the missionary group were undergoing legal proceeding outside Delhi.

According to the Foreign Ministry, 751 Indonesian nationals attended the gathering, 50 of whom had been repatriated to Indonesia.

“The government, through its representatives in India, continues to seek the return of the other 701 citizens,” said Retno.

India’s official coronavirus case tally passed 2 million on Friday, with 41,585 deaths, as reported by AFP.