As many as 13 workers of Tablighi Jamaat were booked by Bharuch Police, on Monday, after it was discovered that they had illegally travelled from Bhavnagar to Bharuch amid the countrywide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Gujarat Director General of Police, Shivanand Jha said in a recorded video message on Tuesday, “Several workers of Tablighi Jamaat from Bharuch on March 17, before the implementation of the lockdown, had travelled in a Ro-Ro ferry from Dahej to Bhavnagar. However, 13 of them, in batches of six and seven, had recently, illegally returned to Bharuch from Bhavnagar in a private transport bus. They have been identified and booked under relevant sections,” said Jha.
The two cases of lockdown violation have been registered at Palej and Amod police stations of Bharuch.
In the first case, a total of six persons identified as Rajjak Bhindam Umraz Adam, Harun Safri, Yunus Maulvi, Usman Godar and Doctor Azad Patel, have been booked under IPC sections 188 (Disobedience to order given by public servant), 114 (Conspiracy) and 269 (Negligent act likely to spread infection of a disease), along with sections of the Disaster Management act and the Epidemic Diseases Act.
“The accused had gone to Bhavnagar on March 17 and stayed at Ibrahim Masjid in Navapara area till March 29. They had returned to Bharuch on March 30, using a private transport bus and did not inform any police or health official about their arrival in Bharuch, thereby risking the spread of the infection,” said a police officer at Palej police station.
In the second case, the seven accused have been identified as Uwez Iliyas, Suhail Bhagat, Anish Bhagat, Safwan Bhagat, Ajaz Rethda, Yasin Slaim and Uwez Khalifa, all natives of Vantarsa in Amod of Bharuch. They have been booked under the same setions as the accused in the first case. “They had also arrived in Bhavnagar on March 17 and stayed in Bilal Masjid of Navapara area. Then on March 30, they had returned back to Bharuch using a private transport bus and did not inform any police or health officials,” said a police officer at Amod police station.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Rajendrasinh Chudasma, Bharuch Superintendent of Police, said, “All 13 accused are workers of Sura faction of Tablighi Jamaat and had not attended the Nizamuddin Markaz event. None of them have tested positive for COVID-19. They are under quarantine.”
Meanwhile, Jha said that police have noticed a spike in cases of lockdown violation during night and wee hours. “I request people to dial 100 if they witness any cases of violation in Ahmedabad and other cities,” he said.
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