Delhi Police books Tablighi Jamaat's Maulana Saad Kandhalvi for culpable homicide after some event attendees die of COVID-19

Tablighi Jamaat leader Maulana Saad Kandhalvi was on Thursday booked for culpable homicide by the Delhi Police after some attendees of the congregation held earlier in March died due to coronavirus

FP Staff April 16, 2020 20:07:55 IST
Delhi Police books Tablighi Jamaat's Maulana Saad Kandhalvi for culpable homicide after some event attendees die of COVID-19

Tablighi Jamaat leader Maulana Saad Kandhalvi was on Thursday booked for culpable homicide by the Delhi Police after some attendees of the congregation held earlier in March died due to coronavirus. The event was attended by more than 2,000 people from across the country and abroad.

Kandhalvi had reportedly organised the event at Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi, against the social distancing protocol imposed by the Centre to curb the spread of the deadly COVID-19 disease. With several attendees testing positive for coronavirus, the event emerged as a leading cluster in the country.

Delhi Police books Tablighi Jamaats Maulana Saad Kandhalvi for culpable homicide after some event attendees die of COVID19

Representational Image. PTI

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An FIR was registered against the Kandhalvi on 31 March at the Delhi Police's Crime Branch station on a complaint of the Station House Officer of Nizamuddin. He was earlier booked for holding the event, PTI reported.

A police official was quoted by the report as saying, "After several attendees of the Tablighi Jamaat event succumbed to coronavirus, we added IPC Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) in the FIR against the leader."

Some foreigners who attended the event have also been booked for violation of visa norms. According to reports published on Wednesday, 46 foreigners, including 20 from Malaysia, were arrested in Bihar for violating visa norms.

"The police had traced 18 foreigners in Araria, 10 in Buxar district and the rest in Patna. The nationals from Malaysia, Kyrgyzstan, Bangladesh and Indonesia went to Delhi to attend the Tablighi Jamaat Congregation after landing in Bihar last month," a report by The New Indian Express said.

Meanwhile, while Kandhalvi said that he was exercising self-quarantine after the event Nizamuddin centre of the congregation emerged as a hotspot, two of his relatives tested positive for COVID-19 in Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur district on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the district administration has sealed Mufti locality in Mandi area, Saharanpur DM Akhilesh Singh was quoted by PTI. He said eight other people from the area were placed under quarantine.

The two people who tested positive are Kandhalvi's in-laws and they had stayed at the Nizamuddin Markaz before the COVID-19 lockdown was imposed. They had recently returned from South Africa and quarantined along with two other persons.

The Tablighi Jamaat issue so far:

The FIR registered against the Tablighi Jamaat event said that the Delhi Police contacted the authorities of Nizamuddin markaz (centre) of the congregation on 21 March and reminded them of the government order which prohibited any political or religious gathering of more than 50 people.

It says that despite repeated efforts, the event organisers failed to inform the health department or any other government agency about the huge gathering inside the markaz and deliberately disobeyed government orders.

The sub-district magistrate of Defence Colony inspected the premises several times and found that around 1,300 people, including foreign nationals, were residing there without maintaining social distancing. It was also found that there were no arrangements of hand sanitisers and face masks, the FIR adds.

So far, more than 25,500 Tablighi members and their contacts have been quarantined in the country after the Centre and the state governments conducted a "mega operation" to identify them.

At least 9,000 people participated in the religious congregation at the Nizamuddin centre. Later, many of the attendees travelled to various parts of the country.

With inputs from agencies

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