FIRs filed against those who housed foreigners after Tablighi Jamaat, Police tells HC

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New Delhi, Feb 16 (PTI) The police told the Delhi High Court on Tuesday that those who housed foreigners attending the Tablighi Jamaat congregation here last year, in violation of certain guidelines, have been included as accused in the FIRs lodged in connection with the event.

The submission was made by Delhi Police in the status reports filed in the high court in response to two pleas by two Indian nationals, each of whom had given accommodation to four foreigners who had attended the Nizamuddin Markaz event, seeking quashing of the FIRs against them.

Justice Suresh Kait listed the pleas of the two Indians -- Feroz Siddique and Rizwan -- on March 8 for further hearing along with six other similar petitions seeking quashing of the FIRs against them in connection with the event.

The court also issued notice to the police and sought a status report in the fresh six petitions, filed through advocates Ashima Mandla and Mandakini Singh. While some of the pleas are by individuals who had provided refuge to the foreigners who had attended the event and could not travel owing to the subsequent lockdown due to the outbreak of COVID-19, others are by persons like a managing committee members or caretakers of different mosques, who have been accused of staying with the foreign nationals in the masjids under the jurisdiction of Chandni Mahal police station.

In the plea by Feroz and Rizwan, who had each provided accommodation to four women Tablighi attendees, they have contended that shelter was given to them as they had nowhere to go during the lockdown. Feroz, Rizwan and other petitioners have also contended that there is no documentation on record in either the FIR or charge sheet to indicate that they had been infected by COVID-19 and therefore, they could not have been accused of spreading the disease under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897. PTI HMP SA