Mamata Banerjee reveals Tablighi Jamaat figure: 108 foreigners, 69 other attendees quarantined in West Bengal

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Published: April 9, 2020 9:54:36 AM

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that her government acted swiftly after the Nizamuddin area was declared as a hotspot where nearly 2,300 people were staying despite the lockdown.

Mamata Banerjee said 177 people, including 108 foreigners, who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation at the Nizamuddin Markaz have been quarantined. (PTI Photo)

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has launched a scathing attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party over the Tablighi Jamaat religious congregation in Nizamuddin area of Delhi that later emerged as a coronavirus hotspot. Banerjee said that people who granted permission for the event are now complaining about the state government not doing its duty in containing the virus by quarantining the attendees.

She said both the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of External Affairs control the flow of foreigners in the country and India under the jurisdiction of the Centre.

“The states have no say in their operations,” she said.

Banerjee said people gathered at Nizamuddin because they were allowed and noted that foreigners were given visa, and their passports got immigration clearance from the Centre.

“If they don’t inform the state government who all have come in international flights, how do we know? We had no information,” she said.

“But after we came to know, we took steps within six hours. And we did it quietly,” the CM told reporters.

The Chief Minister said that her government acted swiftly after the Nizamuddin area was declared as a hotspot where nearly 2,300 people were staying despite the lockdown. She informed that the government has quarantined 177 people, including 108 foreigners, who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation at the Nizamuddin Markaz.

Ten days ago, the government shifted 108 foreigners who had attended the Delhi event to the quarantine centre. “They came from Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand,” she said.

“A total of 69 others from Bengal, who had attended the event, are also there. We have done this quietly. But I did not give this information earlier as governments have to maintain secrecy,” she said.

Slamming the BJP, she said that the saffron party leaders were talking on communal lines.

“They should know that pandemic does not spread by making distinctions between Hindus, Muslims or Sikhs or Christians. A pandemic does not see caste or religion,” she said.

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