FIR against Tablighi Jamaat sect chief, 6 others for defying COVID-19 warning
New Delhi/IBNS: The Delhi Police have registered an FIR against Tablighi Jamaat sect chief cleric Maulana Saad and six others for flouting Coronavirus warning and hosting a congregation of 3000 people at Alami Markaz Banglewali Masjid in Delhi, which emerged as country's one of the hotspots of the COVID-19 outbreak.
According to reports, Maulana Saad is missing. He was last seen on Saturday when coronavirus cases related to the gathering started surfacing.
Besides Maulana Saad, the FIR booked Zeeshan, Mufti Shehzad, M Saifi, Younus, Mohammad Salman and Mohammed Ashraf under the Epidemic Disease Act.
The FIR stated that these seven people were not only responsible for holding the gathering but also allowed several to remain in the building despite constant warnings from the government against such assembly, including the lockdown notice on Mar 24.
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.
The Delhi Police also released a video of their attempt to warn senior Makaz members to vacate the place amid lockdown orders.
Seven of the total number of deceased (over 50) so far in the country were incidentally the attendees of the event, which has created even more 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.
In Assam, eight new postive cases of COVID-19 were registered on Wednesday and according to the state health ministry all of them particpiated in the Tablighi Jamaat congregegation.
Alert ~ 8 more #COVID19 positive cases in Assam, taking the total to 13.— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) April 1, 2020
All eight new cases are of people who also participated in #TablighiJamaat congregation at #NizamuddinMarkaz.
Update at 9 pm / April 1
Earlier, twenty-four people have tested positive for COVID-19 following the mass gathering.
The Ministry of Health on Wednesday said 1800 people related to Tablighi Jamaat have been shifted to 9 hospitals or quarantined centers across Delhi.
Different states are now carrying out contact-tracing to identify other virus-exposed persons in Delhi, who have returned to their respective hometown after the gathering.
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.