Eight Ethiopian nationals arrested in Chennai

Eight Ethiopian nationals arrested in Chennai
R. Sivaram

Photograph used for representational purposes only

The foreigners were arrested for violating provisions of the Foreigners Act, 1946, and being involved in religious activities

(thehindu)—The city police have arrested eight Ethiopian nationals for violating provisions of the Foreigners Act, 1946 and being involved in religious activities.

Police said the foreign nationals were staying in a mosque in Mannady, within the Muthialpet police station limits. They were rounded up by police and subjected to COVID-19 testing. As they tested negative, they were produced before a judicial magistrate and lodged in Central Prison, Puzhal.

“They came on medical visas and indulged in religious activities contrary to the provisions of Foreigners Act,” a senior police officer said.

In the past week, 129 foreign nationals, staying in various mosques in the State, have been held for violation of visa norms and involvement in religious activities. These preachers hailed from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Congo.

The police said they had arrived in India on tourist visas and violated the guidelines by travelling to different parts of the country and preaching. They also attended the Tablighi Jamaat conference in Delhi last month. The foreign nationals were picked up in Kancheepuram, Salem, Erode, Madurai and Dindigul districts, police said.

In Needur near Mayiladuthurai district, police found 10 Tablighi Jamaat preachers from abroad, five of them from France, three from Cameroon and one each from Congo and Belgium.

As many as 11 persons from Indonesia and Malaysia were arrested last Saturday in Illayankudi on charges of ‘over stay’. They had come to India and participated in the Tablighi Jamaat conference in Delhi, and had arrived in Tamil Nadu during the end of March and were visiting dargahs. They were staying at a private farm, police said.