In the latest development to the Nizamuddin Markaz controversy, the supporters of Markaz have circulated abusive videos on social media, threatening media channels for reporting extensively over the incident. In an attempt to intimidate media personnel, the Markaz backers have warned media channels against reporting anything about the Tablighi Jamaat incident that caused a sharp rise in the number of COVD-19 cases in India.
Earlier on Sunday, a team of Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) scientists and Delhi Police Crime Branch officials visited Markaz Nizamuddin, the international headquarters of the Tablighi Jamaat. The purpose was to investigate the Jamaat's alleged violation of restrictions when it hosted a religious congregation attended by thousands of people in mid-March.
On March 31, the Delhi Police registered a case against Maulana Saad and other officials of Tablighi Jamaat under sections od the Epidemic Disease Act,1897 and Section 269, 270, 271 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code. In the FIR, it has been stated that the congregation failed to take safety measures for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. Responding to the police's questionnaire, Maulana Saad stated that he couldn't answer questions as he is under quarantine and the documents are locked in the Markaz building.
The controversy erupted when 24 people who had attended the religious congregation at Markaz Nizamuddin tested positive for COVID-19. Thousands of people who participated in the Tablighi Jamaat event travelled to various states in India, risking the spread of the novel coronavirus. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, 1746 individuals including 216 foreigners were staying in the Markaz building as of March 21.
The Health Ministry revealed that 30% of the total COVID-19 cases in India were linked to the Tablighi Jamaat religious congregation. The Ministry added that it would have taken 7.4 days for the number of cases to double instead of the current 4.1 days if the Jamaat function had not taken place.