Australians Returning From India Will Be Jailed For 5 Years! Heavy Penalty For Visiting India
Amid the plummeting Covid-19 cases across the country, the list of countries banning international travel avenues for Indian nationals is getting longer, with Australia recently finding its way into the list.
The Australian government has banned anyone travelling from India to an extent that they can be jailed for a period of 5 years or heavily fined, if travelers from India fail to comply with the temporary travel ban.
The ban will be put into effect starting Monday, after a meeting of the National Cabinet on Friday.
While the travel ban has currently been put until May 15, several people, including ministers and legal dignitaries in the Australian government have accused the Australian PM of racism.
Australia Bans Indian Travelers for 15 Days
With the second wave of coronavirus plummeting fresh cases of infections and deaths in India, various countries like New Zealand, Hong Kong and the UK have suspended entry for Indian travelers.
Trak.in has covered a detailed article with the complete list of countries that have currently banned international travels for Indian flyers.
On Friday, the Australian government announced to ban all flights from India, starting May 3, until May 15.
The Health ministry warned in an official statement that anyone who fails to comply with ‘an emergency determination under the Biosecurity Act, 2015’ may incur a civil penalty of 300 penalty units, five years’ imprisonment or both.
The decision is taken to keep the spread of coronavirus diseases in Australia, at check.
The ministry further added, “The CMO will consider the epidemiology in India and likely impacts on Australia’s quarantine capacity, and provide a further expert assessment of the public health risk to Australia to inform a proportionate response.”
Australia’s Move Criticized as Racism
According to BBC News, several medical experts and legal groups are arguing that the government’s move to criminalize Indian arrivals is extreme and disproportionate to the health risks.
Federal Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi tweeted that the measures were “absolutely horrific and racist”.
Prominent conservative media commentator Andrew Bolt said the policy was “so mean and irrational that I must also blame racism”.
Australia’s former Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane pointed out the “inconsistency” in the government’s policy, noting bans and criminal penalties weren’t imposed on Australians returning from other nations at the height of their Covid waves.
“We didn’t see differential treatment being extended to… the United States, the UK, and any European country even though the rates of infection were very high and the danger of arrivals from those countries was very high,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.
Additionally, contributing to 2.6% of the Australian population, members of the Indian-Australian community have expressed their anger over the sudden ban.