Action against visa rules violators: Govt

Akhilesh Suman

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar during a press conference (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: File photo of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar during a press conference (PTI Photo)

India has taken a serious view of the visa misuse by some Indonesian citizens that led to many Indians getting infected by the COVID-19 virus.

Top sources in the Ministry of External Affairs told Rajya Sabha TV that appropriate action will be taken against them for violating visa rules and not reporting their whereabouts.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has also taken taken a serious view of the matter because most of the Indonesians concerned violated tourist visa regulations to indulge in religious preaching at various mosques.

The Indian Embassy in Jakarta is checking if the visitors had given correct information about their profession and their source of income when they applied for a visa to India.

The Home Ministry estimates that almost 2000 foreign nationals from as many as 70 nations who came for the Tablighi Jamaat event are spread out in different places in India.

Among them are 472 Indonesians, 150 Malaysians, 493 from Bangladesh, and 142 from Thailand. State Governments and the host Tablighi Jamaat in Delhi have been directed to track and call them back to Delhi.

They have been told to quarantine the visitors and send COVID negative people back to their respective countries by the first available flight. All visitors had come on a six month tourist visa.

Meanwhile, India is strengthening collaborations with other nations on matters related to the containment of the spread of Corona virus, procurement of essential items to fight COVID-19 and finding treatment for the disease.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken to heads of Governments of France, Israel, Britain, Russia, Afghanistan, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, Saudi Arabia and the President of the European Commission.

Supplementing the Prime Minister’s efforts, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also had telephonic consultations with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his counterparts in China, European Commission, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

The Foreign Secretary also held video conferencing with his US, Russian and European counterparts.
Sources in the External Affairs Ministry expressed satisfaction with the use of a dedicated helpline in Delhi as well as in all the Indian missions abroad.

Roughly 3300 calls and 2200 emails have been received on these helplines. Help has been provided to all the callers or those who contacted the Missions via emails.

The Ministry is now focusing on procuring ventilators, Personal Protective Equipment kits and masks of both surgical and personal use. Indian missions are actively engaged in ensuring the quality of these products. Meanwhile the government has also instructed ministries to encourage domestic companies to ramp up production.