Press Trust of india

57 overseas Tablighis convicted, sentences set off and freed

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Muzaffarnagar: A Saharanpur court near here has freed 57 overseas Tablighi Jamaat members after setting off their month-long sentences against the imprisonment already undergone by them during trial.

The 57 Tablight Jammat members, who were ordered to be released, include 21 from Kyrgyzstan, five from Thailand, four from Indonesia, two from Malaysia and one each from Syria and France besides some other countries.

Saharanpur Chief Judicial Magistrate Anil Kumar sentenced all 57 Tablighis to a month in jail on Saturday after convicting them under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code for disobeying public servants orders issued under section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.

CJM Kumar, however, set aside the prosecution charges under stricter IPC sections 269 and 271 for committing negligent acts likely to spread infections of dangerous disease and violating quarantine rules respectively.

The court also acquitted them of violating section 14 of the Foreigners Act for allegedly overstaying in the country beyond the permission granted to them, saying this charge has not been made out against the accused.

The court convicted the accused of the two penal offences after they pleaded guilty for them but claimed trial on others, claiming innocence.

The court convicted and freed them after setting off their sentences in a trial held through video conferencing.

After the court’s ruling, all 57 Tablighi Jammat members were released and have been kept in a resort in Saharnapur, said officials.

They all have evinced keen interest in going back to their respective countries, the officials added.

In fact, two diplomats from Kyrgyzstan embassy in India had earlier also visited their 21 nationals and had met them in jail on May 31, they added.

The diplomats had also told Indian authorities that they would send their citizens back to Kyrgyzstan as soon as judicial process is over here.

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