Islamic missionary sect Tablighi Jamaat's congregation in Delhi in March has become a matter of national importance as it has emerged to be a hotspot for coronavirus cases. With hundreds of people who attended the meet testing positive, a massive manhunt is on to trace attendees.
Meanwhile, a more focused hunt is on for its leader Maulana Saad Kandhalvi, who was last seen on 28 March.
Now, in audio clips released on the Markaz YouTube channel on Wednesday, 1 April, Maulana Saad can be heard saying he is self-quarantining in Delhi as per doctor’s advice.
In one message, quoted by India Today, the leader reportedly says that the best place to die is a mosque, insisting that the virus cannot harm his followers.
In the YouTube videos, however, his spiel is different. In a video titled 'Mulk Ke Qanoon Or Doctors Ki Hidayat Par Sab Amal Karen,' roughly translating to an order to follow the law and doctors' advice, he calls the virus a result of the anger of God.
He is heard urging the Tablighi members to follow the government’s guidelines, quarantining themselves, while also carrying on their prayers and duties during isolation.
“It’s because of the crimes of humans that the world is suffering today. I appeal to the members who were present at the event to follow the instructions of the doctors and cooperate with the administration,” he says in the clip. Maulana Saad also adds that quarantining is not against Shariyat or Islam, and that all the members should self-isolate themselves.
Police Teams Sent to Hunt Down Leader
Out of 2,346 people brought from the congregation,1,810 have been quarantined and 536 people admitted in hospitals, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said on Thursday.
Cases linked to the event have emerged from as far as Gujarat, Assam and Tamil Nadu.
Eight new cases linked to the congregation were confirmed in Assam, taking total count of positive cases in the state to thirteen.
Police sources told NDTV that Maulana Saad may be infected with the virus. The Crime Branch of Delhi Police has dispatched teams to Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, and to Delhi, to track down the leader.
An FIR has been registered against Maulana Saad over allegations of encouraging people to gather at Markaz Nizamuddin, turning a deaf ear to the Centre’s warnings of .social distancing. He had also allegedly ignored two notices sent by the police to vacate the building.
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