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How Tablighi Jamaat turned Delhi's Nizamuddin into hotspot of COVID-19 spread in India

How Tablighi Jamaat turned Delhi's Nizamuddin into hotspot of COVID-19 spread in India

IBNS | @indiablooms | 01 Apr 2020, 10:55 am

New Delhi/IBNS: Right under the nose of the Delhi Police which falls under the Narendra Modi government, Tablighi Jamaat, the Islamic missionary movement, turned a busy, crowded Nizamuddin in the national capital into the hotspot of the spread of COVID-19 keeping 1.3 billion people of the massive country on toes.

At a time the idea of social distancing was embraced both by the Centre and the state governments, Tablighi Jamaat, an "orthodox" missionary, congregated around 3,000 people at Alami Markaz Banglewali Masjid in Nizamuddin here flouting all norms of self-isolation.

Reports suggest around 2000-3000 preachers had congregated at the event of Tablighi Jamaat preachers in mid-March, just days after the Delhi government had banned the gatherings of 200 people at any place in the wake of the outbreak of Novel Coronavirus.

As the Tablighi Jamaat is defending themselves saying the Delhi government had ordered a ban on a gathering of 50 people at any place only on Mar 16 after the event was hosted, a Mojo TV report highlighted a Mar 13 letter from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government ordering a ban on 200 people.

According to a Hindustan Times report, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had on Mar 28-29 midnight sent National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval to Nizamuddin Markaz, Maulana Saad, to convince him to get the occupants of the mosque to get tested for COVID-19.

But all that happened only after the Delhi police had failed to convince Markaz.

Seven of the total number of deceased (over 50) so far in the country were incidentally the attendees of the event creating panic among the people across the country.

Six of those seven attendees had died in Telangana after they had fled to the southern state of India.

"Six people from Telangana who attended a religious congregation at Markaz in Nizamuddin area of New Delhi from 13-15 March succumbed after they contracted #Coronavirus. Two died in Gandhi Hospital while one each died in Apollo Hospital, Global Hospital, Nizamabad and Gadwal," a tweet posted by Telangana CMO on Mar 30 read.

About Tablighi Jamaat

Tablighi Jamaat, which operates from South Asia, is a missionary movement which mostly focuses on urging Muslims to return to practicing their religion as it was practiced during the lifetime of Islamic prophet Muhammad.

The organisation, which has an estimated 150 to 250 million adherents, was founded by Muhammad Ilyas al-Kandhlawi in 1927.

Originally beginning as a local movement, Tablighi Jamaat was an offshoot of Deobandi movement which is a deviated movement from the mainstream Sunnis.

Before India, Tablighi Jamaat spread COVID-19 in South Asia

Weeks before spreading the COVID-19 in the national capital of India and other states, the organisation held a similar gathering in Malaysia causing the spread of the deadly virus which has kept the entire world on an edge.

A report published by Al Jazeera on Mar 18 said how a similar gathering occurred in Malaysia during a four-day meeting outside the capital city of Kuala Lumpur.

The news report had stated the event, which took place at a sprawling mosque complex in late February, turned out to be the source of Coronavirus across South Asia.

This was further been substantiated by a statement from Malaysia's Health Minister Dr. Adham Baba who had said two-thirds of total 673 total confirmed COVID-19 cases (the number may vary now) in the country had attended the four-day event in the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.