JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – A court in New Delhi has fined 431 Indonesians of the Tablighi Jamaat Islamic missionary movement, who took part in a massive gathering in India last April.
“The court fined [the Indonesian nationals] fees ranging from 5,000 to 10,000 rupees [$66.64 – 133.27] after the defendants agreed to the sentence following plea bargains with the court,” said Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi.
“Indonesian [embassy and consular offices] will accompany them, and another five members who pleaded not guilty, during their legal process. These include paying their fines before repatriating them [to Indonesia].”
Retno added that another 286 Indonesian Tablighi Jamaat members outside New Delhi are still on trial.
Indonesian Foreign Ministry Director for Citizens Protection Judha Nugraha confirmed Retno’s announcement.
“The Indonesian defendants faced various charges, among them violating the terms of their visa and quarantine policies [under India’s Epidemic Disease Act],” he said.
“In violating the latter, they were charged with contributing to the spread of Covid-19 in India. However, those charged stated they never intended to break the law.”
A total of 751 Indonesian Tablighi Jamaat members came to India for the religious rally with thousands of their counterparts from other countries. Fifty of them have already been repatriated to Indonesia.
The Tablighi Jamaat also held a rally in the Indonesian province of Gorontalo. The mass gathering is also linked to hundreds of cases.
Seventeen Indian states have reported a spate of Covid-19 cases linked to the gathering.
India has recorded over 2 million Covid-19 cases. A total of 42,518 Indians died in the pandemic, while 1,73 million others recovered.
(Writer: Devina Halim | Editor: Diamanty Meiliana)
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