OCI card-holders need permit for 'Tabligh or journalistic activities': Centre
The ministry of home affairs on Friday announced new rules for the OCI card-holders as per which the card-holders will be required special permission from Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) or the Indian Mission concerned, for missionary or Tabligh or mountaineering or journalistic activities.
Additionally, they will need permission if they want to undertake research, internship or employment in any foreign diplomatic missions, foreign government organisations in India.
Apart from these, a special permit will also be required to visit any place that falls in the protected or restricted or prohibited areas as specified by the government or competent authority.
The new rules for the OCI card-holders that put special restrictions like the requirement of a special permit for Tabligh and journalistic activities have raised eyebrows.
The requirement of a special permit for Tabligh activities come after a Tablighi congregation in Delhi in the month of March last year was found to be an epicentre of coronavirus cases. The event was considered to be a super spreader as the people who took part in the congregation travelled across the country leading to a massive spread of the infection. Last month. a court in Uttar Pradesh imposed penalties of ₹1,500 each on 49 people involved in the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi last year.
The new rules of the home ministry have also granted parity to OCI card-holders with the Indian nationals for airfare tariffs for domestic travel and entry fees to any national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, national monuments, historical sites and museums in the country.