OCI Members Need Permit For Tablighi, Journalistic Activities: MHA

Tablighi Jamaat had faced sharp scrutiny after several coronavirus cases emerged from their gathering last March.

2 min read
Tablighi Jamaat had faced sharp scrutiny after several coronavirus cases had emerged from their gathering last March.

Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cardholders will need special permission if they wish to take up any missionary, Tablighi or journalistic activities, said the Home Ministry, according to reports.

In its rules for overseas Indians seeking visas, the MHA said OCI card-holders will need to take special permission from the Foreign Regional Registration Office (FRRO).

Overseas Indians will also need permission to take up any research work, internship with foreign missions or if they need to visit areas designated as restricted or protected, reported NDTV.


The OCI cardholders will also have to inform the FRRO if there is a change in address. OCI will be given parity with Indian nationals in case of tariffs in domestic air travel and in entry fees for national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, national monuments, historical sites and museums in India.

In its guidelines in August 2020, the Home Ministry had said only those OCI cardholders will be allowed entry who belong to countries with which transport air bubble arrangements have been finalised by the civil aviation ministry.

Tablighi Jamaat had faced sharp scrutiny after multiple coronavirus cases across the country were traced to their religious gathering in Delhi in March 2020.

The Delhi Police's Crime Branch had named more than 900 foreign nationals in connection with the case. A majority of them, however, left for their countries by taking the plea bargaining route.

A total of 44 were left, who then claimed trial in the case. Out of these, eight were discharged by the court earlier.

As the matter had taken a communal tone, the Supreme Court in November had pulled up the government for failing to check fake news and bigotry on TV.

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