Around 50 foreign preachers were found to be staying at mosques in different towns in Uttar Pradesh many of whom had attended the Tableegh-e-Jamaat event at Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi triggering alarm bells

Acting on tip offs by the Local Intelligence Units (LIU), the police raided several mosques in Lucknow, Bijnore and Meerut and found that as many as 48 preachers had been staying there for many days.

The police said that the local imams (priests) of the mosques had not informed the authorities about the presence of the foreign nationals there.

Sources said that 24 foreign preachers, including nationals from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Indonesia and Thailand, were found in the mosques in Lucknow.

Similarly, eight preachers were found to be staying at a mosque in Bijnore town, about 400 kilometres from Lucknow. As many as 19 foreign preachers were found hiding at two mosques in Meerut District.

Sources said that many of the preachers had attended the recent religious event at Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi. All of them had been quarantined.

Cases had been registered against the local imams of the mosques, sources said.

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath cut short his visit to western UP and rushed to the capital of Lucknow, where he chaired a marathon meeting with the officials on the issue.

According to the sources, around 157 people from as many as 19 districts across UP had attended the religious event in March.

''While some of the participants were still in Delhi and were being treated at hospitals there, some others returned to their native towns and villages in UP,'' said a senior government official on Tuesday.