Mumbai: Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh on Monday said out of the 58 'missing' Tablighi Jamaat members from Maharashtra who attended the group's religious gathering at Nizamuddin in Delhi, 40 have been traced and quarantined.

The remaining 18 members of the Islamic group are still missing and efforts are on to trace them, the minister told PTI.

As of last week, 58 members of the Islamic group from the state were missing. Some of them switched off their phones, which made it difficult to trace them, he said.

Also read: A 10-year-old boy named Sheikh Shakil of WestBengal was starved to death due to the nationwide lockdown

"However, the police diligently followed every information and traced 40 of them. They have all been kept under institutional quarantine and their swab tests for coronavirus will be carried out as per the health department's advisory," Deshmukh said.

Further commenting on the 40 Tablighi Jamaat members traced by the state police, he said, "They are Indian citizens. We have convinced them about the need to stay quarantined. If they do not show any symptoms or test negative for coronavirus, the government will release them after completing due procedure."

Also read: Supreme Court to hear PIL seeking quashing of the Centre's decision to set up the PM CARES Fund on Monday

He said the state authorities have already traced 156 foreign nationals who attended the congregation at Nizamuddin in New Delhi, and they have been booked for various offences, inluding misuse of visa.

The religious congregation organised by Tablighi Jamaat in the national capital last month emerged as one of the major COVID-19 hotspots in the country, prompting various state authorities to trace all those who attended the event and quarantine them.