Following reports that the Markaz Nizamuddin had violated lockdown norms, the Markaz issued a detailed clarification into how they did not violate the lockdown announced by the government.
In its clarification, the Markaz stated 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.
In a press release, it said following the orders of the ‘Janata Curfew’ on March 22, the visitors were advised not to venture out, forcing them to drop plans of moving back to their native places. Then even before the Janata Curfew ended, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a lockdown of the national capital from March 23 to March 31, further diminishing the visitors’ chances of availing road transport for their journey back home. It said, despite the challenging situation, the Markaz administration helped 1500 people to leave the building by availing whatever transport was available.
Further, it said, a surprise announcement was made by PM Modi on the evening of March 23 that the country would go into a 21-day total lockdown from midnight. It said, under such circumstances, the Markaz did not have any other option but to accommodate the stranded visitors in its building.
It further said that a sudden notice was issued by the SHO, Hazrat Nizamuddin on March 24 seeking closure of Markaz permises.
“During this entire episode, Markaz Nizamuddin never violated any provision of law, and always tried to act with compassion and reason towards the visitors who came to Delhi from different states. It did not let them violate the medical guidelines by thronging ISBTs or roaming on streets,” it added.
According to a Pess Note of Tablighi Markaz there were already hundreds of people inside the building when the nationwide lockdown was announced by Hon’ble Prime Minister. In such a situation, there was no option for Markaz administration but to accommodate them. pic.twitter.com/5w1NTHLktG
— Dargah Hazrat Nizamuddin (@SufiCulturalOrg) March 31, 2020
Nizamuddin in Delhi has been identified as a hotspot now by the Delhi government after several people in the area showed symptoms of being infected with the novel Coronavirus following a religious prayer meeting in the locality earlier this month.
Over 2,000 delegates, including from Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Kyrgyzstan attended the Tabligh-e-Jamaat congregation in Nizamuddin West from March 13-15, officials said as the south Delhi neighbourhood was virtually sealed following fears that some people may have contracted COVID-19.
Around 1,034 people have now been shifted from the Markaz building till now — 334 to hospitals and 700 to quarantine centers — in at least 34 trips made by Delhi government buses.
So far seven people, who attended the religious congregation have died, while 24 have tested positive for the virus.
The police has said that the religious congregation was organised without permission from authorities.
The Delhi Police on Monday night cordoned off the area as several people showed symptoms of being infected with the virus.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has reportedly ordered the registration of an FIR against a ‘maulana’ for leading the congregation in West Nizamuddin.
Meanwhile, the Markaz Nizamuddin – the Delhi headquarters of the Tablighi Jamaat — was sealed early today.