New Delhi: An FIR registered by the Delhi Police over a widely attended religious conference in Nizamuddin mosque names seven people, including Maulana Saad, from the Tablighi Jamaat for violating the lockdown imposed in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The FIR was registered on March 31 under section 3 of the Epidemic Disease Act 1897 and IPC sections 269, 270, 271 and 120b. As per details of the FIR made available on Thursday, it alleges that the management of Markaz of Basti Nizamuddin didn't adhere to orders and warnings on social distancing to arrest the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The complainant in the FIR is SHO Hazrat Nizamuddin police station, Mukesh Walia.
According to the FIR, on March 21, police approached the Markaz management and apprised them of the situation. The local police asked them to send all foreign devotees to their respective countries and Indian devotees to their respective states.
On the same day, the police got to know about an audio which was being circulated on the WhatsApp groups in which Mohd Saad was purportedly heard asking devotees to defy social distancing to attend the religious gathering.
On March 24, the nationwide lockdown was announced and on the same day after the announcement, ACP Lajpat Nagar imposed Section 144 in the area.
The threat of Covid-19 was conveyed to Mohd Saad and other people in the management verbally, says the FIR.
A meeting in the police station was also conducted on March 24 by Inspector Walia. The meeting was attended by Maulana Saad, Mohd Ashraf, Dr Zeeshan, Mufti Shehzad, Mursalin Saifi, Yonus and Mohd Salman.
"Despite the direction and notice served on March 24, these people didn't vacate the place. They all are responsible for this huge gathering," reads the FIR.
The FIR further says that neither Saad nor the management informed the government or health department about the large gathering inside the Markaz.
A written notice was also served on March 24 by the local police. The premises was inspected by the Sub-division Magistrate of Defence Colony on March 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30.
It was found that around 1,300 devotees of various states and foreign countries were residing without maintaining social distancing. It was also found that no face mask or hand sanitiser were given to them.
"Mohd Saad and the management deliberately, wilfully, negligently and malignantly disobeyed the directions … they allowed a huge gathering to assemble inside a close premise over a protracted period of time without any semblance of social distance or provision of mask or hand sanitiser,” it read.