Bhopal: In the past two days, the Bhopal district court has sent 69 people, including 54 foreigners associated with Tablighi Jamaat to jail for “spreading coronavirus” in Madhya Pradesh state capital.
This is the first instance in the country where someone has been sent to the jail for spreading the virus.
A bench of Justice Suresh Sharma ordered 14-day judicial custody for the 51 members of Tablighi Jamaat on Friday, while 18 members were sent to jail a day earlier on May 14 until May 27. The court also revoked their bail pleas.
According to the police, they have been booked under Sections 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 269 (Negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), 270 (Malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 51 of National Disaster Management Act. Besides, the 54 foreigners have also been slapped with section 13 and 14 of Foreigners Act, 1946 and their passports have been seized by the court.
Cases against all 69 Jamaat members were registered at various police stations of the State capital, Aishbagh (23), Piplani (14), Mangalwara (10), Shamla Hills (14) and Talaiya (8), soon after the news of New Delhi Nizamuddin Markaz religious congregation came to fore.
According to the district police, they returned to Bhopal after participating in the religious event, and allegedly hid their travel history which led to the massive jump in Covid-19 cases in the State capital.
The Bhopal police presented them in the court after keeping them in a month-long quarantine after registering FIRs against them. More members will be presented in the court, claimed a senior official of Bhopal police.
The 54 foreigners who have been sent to judicial custody belong to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Indonesia, Myanmar, South Africa, Tanzania, Canada, London, Pennsylvania, while the remaining 15 Indians are from Bihar, Maharashtra, Haryana and Bhopal, said the police reports.
The court has asked the concerning police stations to submit the chargesheet within 60 days after the investigation. “Some other cases of Tablighi Jamaat members are also in the queue,” said District Prosecution Officer, Rajendra Upadhyay.
Despite several attempts, Chief Superintendent of Police (Kotwali) Bittu Sharma, in-charge of Tablighi Jamaat case, did not respond to the calls.
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