New Delhi [India], June 27 (ANI): Delhi Police, in its chargesheets filed against foreign members of Tablighi Jamaat, said that they have disobeyed the regulation and lockdown, most of them had arrived from countries where COVID-19 infection was already creating havoc, and some acted as carriers of the highly infectious coronavirus.
The police said that Jamaat in Indonesia has cancelled its meeting due to virus but Maulana Saad organised it in India.
"An international gathering of Tablighi Jamaat Muslims on Indonesia's Sulawei Island was cancelled on March 18 over concern about the spread of the coronavirus, which had already killed 25 people and infected 309 in the country," the police said in its chargesheet.
The foreign Tablighi Jamaat members have disobeyed the regulation and lockdown despite being asked repeatedly by the local police and other authorities to do so.
The chargesheet further added that various precautionary directions were not followed by the Markaz organizers at the Banglewali Masjid, Hazrat Nizamuddin, Delhi. The authorities of Markaz at Tablighi Jamaat Headquarters were contacted by Delhi Police on March 21 and Mufti Shahzad of the Markaz was asked to take immediate action for preventing the spread of this disease. Police had directed the organisers to send the foreign devotees back to their respective countries and other Indian persons to their respective native places.
However, no one paid any heed to the lawful directions of Delhi Police, according to chargesheet.
"The foreigners who are accused in this case have caused a situation where a highly infectious disease such as coronavirus infection may spread and threaten the lives of the inmates and the general public at large. They have failed to follow the lawful directions of the above authorities, which makes them liable to be prosecuted and punished under section 3 of the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897," the chargesheet said.
The police also chargesheeted them under Sections 51 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 as the accused persons, in this case, have refused to comply with lawful directions of the authorities, resulting in the loss of lives.
During the investigation, foreigners accepted that they had participated in the Tablighi Jamaat Markaz for the purpose of professing and propagating the principles and doctrines of the Tablighi Jamaat and had remained at the Banglewali Masjid for some period.
A similar gathering by Tablighi Jamaat in Malaysia, between February 27 to March 1, led to more than 500 COVID-19 cases in that country, including three Indonesians, the police said.
"A large number of foreigners from Indonesia, Malaysia and other countries had then arrived in India and had participated in the Tablighi Jamaat Markaz event at the Banglewali Masjid, Hazrat Nizamuddin, Delhi. It is needless to point out that some of these foreigners have acted as carriers of the highly infectious coronavirus and had thus brought over the infection from their respective countries to India," the chargesheet said.
Police said that there is sufficient evidence to prosecute them under section 14 (b) Foreigners Act, 1946 read with section 3 of The Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, read with section 51 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and sections 188/269/270/271 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Delhi Police has filed around 59 chargesheet against more than 900 foreigners in Tablighi Jamaat matter. (ANI)