In letter to Delhi Police, Tablighi chief seeks FIR copy

Maulana Saad Kandhalvi, the chief of Tablighi Jamaat has sought a copy of the FIR registered against him in connection with an event at Markaz mosque in Delhi’s Nizamuddin in a letter to the Crime Branch of Delhi Police.

On Thursday, the Delhi Police had brought charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against Maulana Saad for holding the gathering last month at its headquarters in Nizamuddin, setting off India’s one of the largest clusters of coronavirus cases.

“I have already joined the investigation by replying two notices U/s 91 Cr.Pc dated 01.04.2020 & 02.04 both issued by your good office. It is reiterated that I am always ready and willing to cooperate with the investigation being conducted by you,” the letter said.

“Kindly supply me the copy of FIR no 63/2020 registered at Police Station Crime Branch, Rohini, New Delhi and also inform if any section has been added in the said FIR,” Saad said in the letter.

Saad’s lawyer had said that he would join the probe after the isolation period ends.

Maulana Saad was under self-quarantine till April 8.

At least 9,000 people participated in the Nizamuddin event. Later, many of the attendees traveled to various parts of the country. More than 1,000 coronavirus cases reported across the country are estimated to be linked to the gathering, the government had said earlier this month.

Meanwhile, many Muslim organisations and activists condemned the escalation of Islamophobia in India following the spread of COVID-19 across different parts of the country.

They argued that the Islamophobia in India has risen exponentially since news broke that some members of the Tablighi Jamaat had met at an annual conference in New Delhi in mid-March and later tested positive for the coronavirus.

Absent from these reports was an acknowledgment of the fact that Tabligh Jamaat conference took place before the lockdown when it was business as usual for the entire country,” the organizations said in many separate statements and open letters to government authorities.

Last week, Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind had approached the Supreme Court seeking to stop sections of the media from giving communal color to reportage on COVID-19 cases linked to the event held by Tablighi Jamaat. The court, however, said on Monday that it will not pass any order that would lead to a “gag” on the media.

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