Delhi police on Tuesday booked the cleric, who led a huge religious congregation in Nizamuddin West earlier this month, for violating government orders on not organising public gatherings and maintaining social distance to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, official said.
The markaz (centre) in the south Delhi neighbourhood organised a Tabligh-e-Jamaat from March 1-15 and at least 2,000 people, including foreigners and Indians from across the country, attended the gathering. On Sunday night, many residents of the centre started showing symptoms fro COVID-19 and police and paramilitary officials locked down the area but authorities fear a possible spread of the virus.
The Telangana government late Monday said six people who attended the congregation died due to the virus.
On Tuesday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said 24 people who took part in the Jamaat have tested positive and over 440 residing at the markaz have been hospitalised after they showed symptoms for the disease.
Delhi police officials said Maulana Saad of the Nizamuddin centre has been booked under sections of Epidemic Disease Act and other sections of the Indian Penal Code for violating government orders on management of the markaz in relation to social, political or religious gathering.
Markaz Nizamuddin, the international headquarters of the Jamaat for nearly 100 years, has said when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the "Janta Curfew" on March 22, they discontinued ongoing programmes but a large number of people were stuck there because of the closure of transport services.
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