The Delhi Police has registered an FIR against Maulana Saad Kandalwi of Nizamuddin Markaz and six others for violating government orders on management of the Markaz in relation to social, political or religious gathering amidst the Coronavirus outbreak.
These six people include Maulana Saad, Dr Zeeshan, Mufti Shehzad, M Saifi, Younus and Mohd Salman, the organisers of a religious congregation last month that saw over 3400 people gathered in the Nizamuddin Markaz building ignoring social distancing norms.
Another person Mohammed Ashraf’s name has also been included in the case FIR.
They have been charged under the Epidemic Disease Act, said Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava.
The FIR says these seven were responsible for the gathering and they allowed visitors to continue living in the building despite notice issued to them on March 24, the day the country went into a total lockdown to fight the spread of coronavirus.
Tablighi Jamaat Markaz is also booked for violating the Epidemic Act provisions and also IPC Section 120B (criminal conspiracy).
The Delhi government had on Monday directed the police to register an FIR against Maulana Saad after several cases of suspected coronavirus were found in the Nizamuddin area.
The Tablighi Jamaat is an Islamic missionary movement set up in 1926, with members across the world. Similar events held in Malaysia and Pakistan in February-March have been linked to virus cases. The religious group’s international headquarters, called Nizamuddin Markaz, is situated in the middle of Nizamuddin colony in southwest Delhi, from where it originally started. It has centres in over 200 countries.
The gathering, which featured sermons, was attended by Tablighi members from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Nepal, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan and Saudi Arabia. Members had also come from Afghanistan, Algeria, Djibouti, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, England, Fiji, France and Kuwait.
The Markaz Nizamuddin, meanwhile, has been cleared after the evacuation of 2,361 people in the past 36 hours, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Wednesday.
States such as Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh have identified hundreds who attended the event and have now been quarantined.
Fifty have tested positive in Tamil Nadu, 24 in Delhi, 21 in Telangana, 21 in Andhra Pradesh, 10 in Andamans and one each in Assam and Jammu and Kashmir after attending the gathering.
Seven people, who attended the event, have died of Coronavirus infection – six from Telangana and one from Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Meanwhile, in its clarification, the Markaz Nizamuddin has stated that they did not violate the lockdown announced by the government.
It said that with a hastily carried out lockdown, the visitors were stranded and forced to seek accommodation at the premises, in accordance with the orders of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for people to stay put at wherever they were.