Asaduddin Owaisi's All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Musilmeen (AIMIM) on Thursday lashed out alleging "communalising" of the Nizamuddin incident. According to him, the Tabligh Jammat incident where several people had gathered for the religious event is being exploited to "blame all the Muslims." He further clarified that when the day the event began, the Union Health Ministry had declared it as "not a health emergency." There is no reference, however, to the irrefutable fact that the meeting, which was held after prohibitory orders had been issued, has led to a sharp spike and spread of Covid cases in the country.
Communalising our fight against COVID19 is a shameful act. #TablighiJamat incident is being exploited to blame all Muslims for COVID19. Tablighi Jamat congregation began on 13th March & the Health Ministry had said on the same day that Coronavirus is not a health emergency pic.twitter.com/BVnwaJL9yA— AIMIM (@aimim_national) April 2, 2020
A religious program was organized at Tablighi Jamaat's headquarters Markaz Nizamuddin mosque between 13-15 March which was attended by over three thousand people, from India and abroad, who since dispersed. After attending the meeting, which took place prior to the nationwide lockdown but after the Delhi government's own directive against such gatherings, many of the attendees returned to other parts of the country, with the spread of the COVID-19 virus now being confirmed from numerous states as a result. The number of Markaz confirmed cases is now greater than one of every 10 cases in India, with a spread that ranges from the North-East to Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir to Tamil Nadu, and even as far as Andaman and Nicobar islands.
A case was registered by the Delhi Police against Maulana Saad and other officials of Tablighi Jamaat for violating the restriction pertaining to a religious gathering. Sections under the Epidemic Disease Act,1897 and Section 269, 270, 271 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code have been invoked. In the FIR, it has been stated that the congregation failed to take safety measures for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. Furthermore, In an alleged audiotape of the Markaz accessed by Republic, a preacher is telling people that the Coronavirus is a conspiracy to disrupt their way of life, going on to make statements against science and general guidelines of public health at a time like this.