01 April 2020
New Delhi: An audio clip which is going viral on social media has stunned the authorities, as someone can be heard saying that "there is no need of social distancing also it is not written anywhere in our religion". There are claims that this voice is of Mohammad Saad Kandhawali, the head of Markaz Tablighi Jamaat.
In the audio clip, some other people can also be heard. However, IANS is not authenticating the audio but some people near to Saad believe that it is Kandhawali's voice. In the clip which has apparently reached the crime branch of Delhi Police, sneezing and coughing by other people can also be heard.
On Wednesday, when IANS contacted Jamaat Headquarter's spokesman Mohd. Ashraf regarding this clip, he said: "Those who have been booked by the police include the people who went to meet Nizamuddin SHO on March 23-24 along with Saad".
On the query that if the Maulana is not guilty of anything then why is he absconding he replied: "I met him a week ago. Since then I have neither met him nor contacted him in any way. It is possible that he may be staying with a relative or has returned to Kandhla."
According to a Delhi Police crime branch source, a search is on for Maulana Saad and his companions. Police teams are conducting raids at many places but have not found them so far.
The police source said they can also take the help of the Muzaffarnagar (UP) police or send their own team to Kandhal. Nothing concrete can be said before the authenticity of the clip is established.
The person whose voice is in the clip can be Maulana Saad also, the source said.
The sources in the Delhi Police crime branch and Nizamuddin police station have said that five people who have been booked, plus Maulana Saad, are the same who were handed over the notice on March 23-24 by Nizamuddin SHO Mukesh Walia. They were advised to vacate the Markaz headquarters. The video of this meeting was accessed by IANS on March 31.
The FIR lodged by the crime branch on the basis of the facts unearthed so far also includes a section under the Epidemic Diseases Act. Also the people who have been made accused or suspects in the FIR include Maulana Saad. His companions, Mufti Shahzaad, Mohd. Saifi, Dr. Jishaan, Mohd. Salman have also been named.
According to the internal sources of Markaz, the FIR lodged by the Delhi Police has cooled down the Markaz management.
The sources said that the evacuation process at the Markaz was started at around 3 a.m. on Wednesday. Around 2,000 people were inside, who have been taken to different places and have been quarantined. The police have also taken over the Markaz headquarters.