The Indian Government has launched a massive search to track down attendees in the Delhi Mosque event. The event was organised by a Muslim missionary movement. This is after dozens of people tested positive for the virus and at least seven have died.
Authorities in Delhi sealed down the premises. The premises belong to the Tablighi Jamaat. It is one of the Islamic organisations of the country. The government has alleged that they organised a religious gathering from March 13 – 15. And, also ignored the threat of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The police have been asked to file a criminal case against the group by the Delhi Government. This is as they flouted guidelines and did not maintain physical distance.
Around 2000 people had been found staying in Markaz Nizamuddin. It is the headquarter of the group in New Delhi. It was founded in 1926.
According to reports, at least 24 people staying there had tested positive for the virus. Adding to that, seven people have also died who had been attendees. The reports have been released by Delhi’s Health Minister Satyender Jain.
On Tuesday, the Delhi police said that it had filed criminal cases against the organisers.
Jamaat Denies All Allegations.
The Tablighi Jamaat denied all allegations against it. It said that the visitors had to be accommodated as they were stranded by the lockdown. According to the Jamaat, the lockdown was announced with just four hours’ notice.
The group said, in a press statement,” A rumour started gaining ground across social media that allegedly people affected with COVID-19 are present in Markaz. It is also being circulated that certain deaths have occurred due to the same.”
The statement further read,” Under such compelling circumstances there was no option for Markaz Nizamuddin but to accommodate the stranded visitors with prescribed medical precautions till such time that situation becomes conducive for their movement or arrangements are made by the authorities.”
However, Delhi legislator Atishi said strict action should be taken. This is as the Delhi Government had forbidden gatherings of more than 200 people on 13th March itself.
The Ministry of Home Affairs is set on blacklist hundreds of preachers from Indonesia that attended the congregation.
An official said,” They came here on a tourist visa but were participating in religious conferences. This is violation of visa rules. We are going to blacklist around 800 Indonesian preachers so that in future they are not able to enter the country.”
A councillor from the area where the meeting took place, said that the Government should not have issued visas. There was enough time to prepare for the situation. Visa restrictions should already have been in place.
Rana Safvi, a Delhi based author said that the Jamaat had been irresponsible. Even after the Delhi government issuing the orders, their moving forward with the meeting was a high degree of irresponsibility.