Delhi govt orders release of quarantined Tablighi members, those needed in Markaz case to be handed over to police

New Delhi, May 6 (PTI) The Delhi government on Wednesday ordered the release of 4,000 Tablighi members who have completed their required quarantine period in centres in the national capital, sources said.

Delhi Home Minister Satyendar Jain issued an order which also stated that Tablighi members who are named and needed in investigation in Markaz incident will be sent to Delhi Police custody.

'All others need to be sent back to their home states. For this, Delhi government's home department has been asked to get in touch with resident commissioners of the states,' they said.

According to the government, Delhi has currently around 4,000 Tablighi members in quarantine centres .

'Around 900 belong to Delhi while rest are from other states. A majority of them hail from Tamil Nadu and Telangana.

'Delhi government is already in touch with other state governments to make transport arrangement for their return,' they said.

Thousands of Tablighi Jamaat members had been taken out of its Markaz (centre) in Nizamuddin, where they had gathered for a religious congregation, and quarantined as the area became a major hotspot after a number of members tested positive for coronavirus.

On March 31, the Delhi Police's Crime Branch had lodged an FIR against seven people, including Maulana Saad Kandhalvi, on a complaint by Station House Officer Nizamuddin for holding the congregation here allegedly in violation of the orders against large gathering and for not maintaining social distancing to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Later, Saad was booked for culpable homicide after some of the attendees of the religious congregation died due to coronavirus, police said on Wednesday.

The members also received flak after there were complaints of misbehaviour by some of them with health workers.

There were allegations that Muslims were targeted and blamed for the spread of the pandemic by some after a number of coronavirus cases were found linked to the Tablighi event.

In a letter last month, Delhi Minorities Commission had demanded that Tablighi Jamaat members who are kept at quarantine centres in the city and have not tested positive for coronavirus be released, as they have completed twice the stipulated quarantine period of 14 days as COVID-19 suspects.

In the letter to Jain, commission chairman Zafarul Islam Khan and member Kartar Singh Kochhar had also claimed that facilities for food and medicines at these camps were poor. PTI BUN RT