The Delhi police has booked the Tablighi Jamaat leader Maulana Saad Kandhalvi on charges of culpable homicide after some attendees of the religious congregation died due to coronavirus.
Kandhalvi had organised the gathering at Nizamuddin Markaz in mid March violating the social distancing protocol to curb the spread of the deadly virus. An FIR was filed against the cleric on March 31 on the complaint of the SHO of the Nizamuddin police station under which the Markaz is situated.
He was earlier booked for holding the event, the police said. “After several attendees of the Tablighi Jamaat event succumbed to coronavirus, we added IPC section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) to the FIR against the Maulana,” a police official said. Kandhalvi who was on the run is now on self quarantine which runs out tomorrow and police are looking forward to take him into custody as it finishes.
The FIR says the Delhi Police contacted the Nizamuddin Markaz on March 21 and reminded them of the government order which prohibited political/religious gathering of more than 50 people. Despite repeated efforts, the event organisers failed to inform the health department about the huge gathering at the Markaz and deliberately disobeyed government orders.
Meanwhile, reports are now emerging that several members of the Tablighi Jamaat who had attended the religious congregation told the Delhi police that they had paid for food and shelter, prior to the commencement of the event. The police are now investigating whether it was the ‘money angle’ that encouraged the organisers to flout government orders and prevent the Jamaatis from leaving the premises of the Markaz. The Delhi Police is now scrutinising the account books to ascertain the amount received by them from the attendees, the Times of India reported.
Over 9000 Tablighi Jamaatis were said to have attended the event in Delhi’s Banglewali Masjid by Nizamuddin Markaz. Adding the Jamaatis who have been coming to the Markaz and their contacts, over 25,000 people linked to the religious group have already been quarantined by the government.
lead picture : UNI