NEWS

Fijians Who Breached India’s Lockdown Rules Cleared to Return Home

The 13 were charged with violating India’s COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. They are now cleared to return home.
23 Jul 2020 09:30
Fijians Who Breached India’s Lockdown Rules Cleared to Return Home
Acting Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Yogesh Karan.

The Fijian High Commission in New Delhi is working on an available flight to repatriate 13 Fijian nationals stranded in India.

The 13 were charged with violating India’s COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. They are now cleared to return home.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary, Yogesh Karan, said the Fijian nationals were cleared after paying their fines.

“The passports have been returned by the Indian Government to all the Fijian nationals. They have been given all clearance to return to Fiji,” Mr Karan said.

“At this stage, I do not have the information on the amount for their fines, but the Fijian nationals have paid their fines. We are awaiting confirmation on the flight for them to return to Fiji,” he added.

Mr Karan said the Fijians would have to be COVID-19 clear before they board a repatriation flight.

He explained that they would have to do a test as required by the health authorities in India, and meet all the requirements before they would be allowed to board.

All necessary tests will be done again once they arrive in Fiji, Mr Karan said.

The 13 were charged with violating visa rules, violating Government guidelines issued in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and regulations regarding the Epidemic Diseases Act, Disaster Management Act and prohibitory orders under Section 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure.

They were charged among other foreigners from 20 different countries and were bailed. It was alleged that the group of foreigners attended a congregation at the Tablighi Jamaat Markaz in New Delhi, violating government lockdown guidelines issued in the wake of the coronavirus disease outbreak.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

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