In a significant development in the Tablighi Jamaat case, Nizamuddin Markaz's Maulana Saad Kandhalvi along with others has now been booked under stringent IPC sections on culpable homicide charges on Wednesday. Along with this Lookout circular (LOC) has been issued against 2000 foreign Tablighis by the officials.
Earlier on, April 8, the Delhi Police has traced Tablighi Jamaat leader Maulana Saad Kandhalvi, who has been on the run after an FIR was registered against him for organising a religious gathering last month despite restrictions to combat the coronavirus, sources said. The cleric has been traced to Zakir Nagar in southeast Delhi, sources said. His lawyer Tauseef Khan, however, said Saad is under self-quarantine and will join investigation after his quarantine period is over.
On March 31, Delhi Police's Crime Branch lodged an FIR against seven people, including the cleric, on a complaint by Station House Officer Nizamuddin for holding the congregation here allegedly in violation of the orders against large gathering and not maintaining social distancing to contain the spread of coronavirus.
A day later, the Delhi Police's Crime Branch wrote to Saad and others, seeking the details under Section 91 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. A second notice was also issued to him. In an audio message last week, Saad said he was exercising self-quarantine after several hundred who visited the Tablighi Jamaat's Nizamuddin Markaz tested positive for coronavirus. An audio tape from the congregation had created ripples for unscientific descriptions of the Covid outbreak.
On Monday, sources reported that a religious programme was organised at Tablighi Jamaat's headquarters Markaz Nizamuddin mosque between 13-15 March which had over 3400 attendees from Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Kyrgyzstan and from several states in India. After attending the meeting, prior to the nationwide lockdown, 1500 of these attendees returned to several parts of the country, possibly spreading the COVID-19 virus.
The mosque has claimed that while they were letting small groups of attendees leave from the venue prior to the Janta Curfew, several were stuck in the area owing to the nationwide lockdown. All 2631 occupants have been evacuated and the building has been sanitised. The Delhi Crime Branch which has booked the Markaz chief Maulana Saad for violating lockdown is currently searching for him by raiding possible hideouts.