#WuhanVirus Islamic preachers from foreign countries put TN at high risk - Local Muslims hid their presence rising suspicions over purpose of their visit
   24-Mar-2020
38 Islamic preachers have been taken into custody from Ambur, Erode and Salem. 23 are from Indonesia, 8 from Myanmar and 7 are from Thailand. 2 have been tested positive for CoVid-19.
- TS Venkatesan
 
TM Foreign preachers_1&nb
 
The presence of Islamic preachers from several foreign nations, divided into several groups in various parts of Tami Nadu and northern Indian cities points a needle of suspicion over their intentions of visit, that too at a time when the threat of CoVid-19 has alarmed the entire country. It is not a coincidence that they all have stayed in mosques without the knowledge of local police, intelligence sleuths and immigration officials. Some of them have tested positive for Coronavirus.
 
With the identification of two Covid-19 cases at a hospital in Erode district, the authorities sealed nine streets in Perundurai that were used by the Muslim religious leaders. They were also guilty of hosting Thai and other foreign Mullahs in the name of tourists.
 
Seven members from Thailand had reached Erode district on March 12. Till March 15 they had stayed in three mosques in Perundurai and one of them died later at the Coimbatore Government hospital. It was in Erode that 2 had tested positive for Covid-19 on March 21 and this forced the city administration to quarantine 136 people. Nine streets are now sealed until further orders. They are carrying out fumigation on all the nine streets that were frequented by the Thailand based Muslims from March 23rd onward.
 
In the neighboring Salem district, 11 Indonesian nationals were quarantined with 5 other local Muslims at Government Mohan Kumaramangalam medical college and hospital. District collector said that this team of 11 Indonesian nationals had visited the city and taken part in religious meetings, roamed around streets and went to a mosque in Sanyasi Kundu. He said they found they had attended religious meetings in three mosques in Shevapet, Ponnammapet and Erumapalayam villages.
 
In Ambur in Vellore district, authorities detained 12 Muslims preachers from Indonesia and 8 from Myanmar in an area with high concentration of Muslims. 
 
Surreptitious visits kept under wraps deliberately?
 
Erode district Qazi Mohd.Kyadulla said Thailand Mullas called ‘Thaplics’ came without his knowledge. He says it is a routine for Muslim religious leaders to visit other nations to exchange ideas and to gain knowledge from that region. It is for this purpose there is a centre in Chennai for Thaplic groups.
 
The Thailand group came to Chennai centre and later moved to Erode. It is a mandated procedure for such groups to intimate the Government Qazi, the Imam and the Muthavalli of the mosque which they want to go to. But the Thailand group did not follow this.
 
It is learnt that the local police did not inform the presence of these Mullas to IB. The district administration came to know of their presence only on 16th. The police also learned that 5 locals had helped them to reach these mosques. The foreign nationals have been staying in Salem since March 11.
 
The medical authorities collected their blood samples for tests. Fumigation is being carried out at the mosques and other places visited by them. The collector said that they have started searching for the people who had attended those meetings and they would be quarantined at their houses.
 
Questions that needs to be answered
 
- With the detection of the Muslim preachers in several part of Tamil Nadu, the intent of their visit is being questioned. The revelations come at a time when the Muslim groups had refused to practice ‘social distancing’ and not gather in groups over the threat of Coronavirus. Many had gone ahead with their protests against CAA, NPR and NRC. Hence, several questions arise over the intent of their presence.
 
- What is the relation of these foreign preachers to the protests against CAA? Why did the local Mosques and Muslim leaders hid their presence from the authorities?
 
- As some of them have tested positive for Coronavirus, were they imported into Tamil Nadu with the sinister intent of spreading the virus in India?
 
- Are there similar foreign Christian groups in India who are here to spread evangelical messages to the gullible people and take advantage of the situation?