India sues Maulana Saad for Tablig Jamat gathering amid coronavirus
DELHI: Delhi police have filed a case against Maulana Saad and others of Tablig Jamaat for violation of the directives issued by the Indian government after the coronavirus outbreak.
The case was filed against Maulana Saad and others of Tablig Jamaat under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Epidemic Diseases Act for violation of government directives given to the management of the Markaz of Basti Nizamuddin.
Over 3,000 people had gathered March 1-18 at the Nizamuddin Markaz mosque for a Tablig Jamaat meeting.
A senior police official said the FIR was filed under Section 269, 270, 271 and 120B IPC at the Nizamuddin police station.
"The organisers violated government directions on restrictions on social/political/religious gatherings and taking safety measures, including social distancing," the official said.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has appealed to religious leaders, irrespective of faith, to not organise any event during the lockdown.
India has reported 240 new Covid-19 cases since Tuesday night, with the number rising to 1,637 by 9:00am on Wednesday, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said. The toll rose to 38.
The Delhi government and police have evacuated 2,361 persons from the Nizamuddin Markaz that is believed to have been the source of dozens of Covid-19 infections across the country.
Several cases of Covid-19 in Delhi as well as in other states have been traced to a congregation held there last month.
Many state governments are trying to trace the people who returned after attending the event.
The Delhi police special branch has asked the Delhi government to take immediate action on at least 157 persons, mostly foreign nationals, linked to the Talbig Jamaat now staying at various masjids and other places in and around Delhi.
These include 94 from Indonesia, 13 from Kyrgyzstan, nine from Bangladesh, eight from Malaysia, and some Indian nationals. The police warned no 'social distancing" is possible at these places and there was a grave public health risk.
The government said so far 1,582 Tabligh Jamaat workers were shifted to the Narela, Sultanpuri and Bakkarwala quarantine facilities that included 441 admitted in hospitals.
COVID-19 and Tabligh Jamaat
The congregation of preachers took place in early March in Banglawali Masjid in Nizamuddin area where Markaz (headquarters) of the Jamaat is located. It is believed that over 800 foreign nationals from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Kyrgyzstan had attended the event.
According to the government, over 2,000 foreigners from 70 countries arrived in India since January 1 to participate in Jamaat activities with over 1,000 got stuck at Nizamuddin due to the lockdown. Many of them had six-month tourist visa.
Alarm bells started ringing with the death of an Indonesian citizen who had participated in the congregation and was travelling in Telangana. He was found COVID-19 positive on March 18. The Home Ministry alerted all state governments about preachers of Jamaat on March 21.
The Jamaat claims that about 2,500 members were at Nizamuddin Markaz. After sudden announcement of 'Janta Curfew' on March 22 followed by a similar action by the Delhi Government and ultimately a 21-day lockdown announced by the Prime Minister, a large number of the Jamaat members got stuck at the Markaz while about 1,500 had left.
So far 10 participants of the Tablighi Jamaat congregation including a Filipino national have succumbed to coronavirus while 285 people staying at the Markaz were admitted to hospitals for suspected coronavirus cases.