Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday appealed to the people who attended the Tablighi Jamaat in Delhi's Nizamuddin to come forward. According to him, 107 people came to Madhya Pradesh after participating in the religious congregation which has triggered country-wide alarm and has led to breakout of positive cases in numerous states. Shivraj Singh Chouhan says that the maximum number of people who attended the meet from his state are in Bhopal currently.
The Madhya Pradesh CM said, "We have directed the people to identify them. Many of them have already been identified and have been sent for isolation. Things are serious. The search is still going on to find the others."
Meanwhile, even as the Chief Minister provided an update on the Nizamuddin congregation, he has himself come under fire amid the politics of the matter for a shocking show-of-strength he had made as the erstwhile Kamal Nath government fell mere weeks ago, at a time that lockdowns and clampdowns on gatherings had already been issued, and it was understood that such an action would be a danger to public health.
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.
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. In an alleged audio tape 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.