Tablighi Jamaat leader Maulana Saad Kandhalvi, who has been absconding since the Nizamuddin Markaz case first came to light, has been booked by the Delhi Police on charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. According to police, Section 304 of IPC has been added to the FIR which was registered on March 31 against Saad, a PTI report said. Police said that the section was added after some of the attendees of the religious congregation died due to coronavirus.
Earlier on March 31, an FIR was registered against him at the Crime Branch police station on a complaint of the Station House Officer of Nizamuddin. He was earlier booked for holding an event violating the guidelines issued by the central and Delhi governments.
"After several attendees of the Tablighi Jamaat event succumbed to coronavirus, we added IPC section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) in the FIR against the leader," a PTI report quoted a police official as saying.
Police said that some foreigners who attended the event in the month of March have also been booked for violation of visa norms.
Saad has been on the run ever since police booked him for violating the coronavirus guidelines by organising a religious congregation as coronavirus wreaked havoc across the world. It was found that nearly 2,300 people were staying at the Markaz Nizamuddin on March 23 despite restrictions on all religious gatherings. Many of them tested positive for the virus later. As many as 9,000 people including foreigners had attended the event since March 1.
Reports, however, claimed that Saad was staying at Zakir Nagar in southeast Delhi. His lawyer Tauseef Khan said Saad is under self-quarantine and will join the investigation after his quarantine period is over.
According to the FIR, Delhi Police contacted the authorities of Nizamuddin Markaz on March 21 and reminded them of the government order. Police said that despite repeated efforts, the event organisers failed to inform the health department or any other government agency about the huge gathering and deliberately violated the orders.
The Nizamuddin area later turned out to be a coronavirus hotspot not only in the national capital, but the entire country. The government launched a mega operation to trace the attendees and their contacts. According to the Home Ministry data, more than 25,500 Tablighi members and their contacts have been quarantined in the country.
The deadly coronavirus has claimed over 375 lives in the country and infected more than 11,000. Delhi is the second worst-hit state in the country after Maharashtra. While the national capital has reported 1,561 cases and 30 deaths, Maharashtra death count stands at 78 and cases at 2,687.