Coronavirus (COVID-19): Delhi Police has sent a list of 281 people who were part of the Tablighi Jamaat gathering in Nizamuddin West last month to immigration authorities, seeking lookout circulars (LoCs) against them. Apart from issuing LoCs, the immigration department has blacklisted around 225 people for violating the visa norms.
The action was taken days after the crime branch found a register last week from inside the Alami Markaz Banglewali Masjid, headquarters of Tablighi Jamaat, with names of around 900 people. “The register has names of people who came to attend the gathering. Police scanned the names and sent their details to the Foreigners Regional Registration Office, asking them to open the LoCs,” a source said. An officer said the purpose of LoC is to ensure police are able to record statements of those part of the gathering.
The investigation team, after taking legal opinion, has now added charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder (IPC section 304) to the FIR which was registered on March 31 against Maulana Saad and seven other senior members of the Markaz management committee. The maximum punishment under this is a 10-year prison term.The section was added after some of the attendees died due to COVID-19. The case was earlier filed against Saad and others under Section 3 of Epidemic Disease Act, 1897, read with Sections 269, 270, 271 and 120-B of IPC, for allegedly going ahead with the gathering despite warnings.
On April 5, eight Malaysian nationals who were part of the gathering were intercepted by immigration authorities following a Delhi Police request to open an LoC against them. “Police also found that most people who attended the gathering were here on tourist visas and had violated the visa norms. So far, 225 people have been blacklisted, some may be booked for violating the Foreigners Act,” an officer said.
Police have started door-to-door verification of people living in the area. “They have so far verified 6,000 people in Hazrat Nizamuddin area. They are asking if residents visited the Markaz or came across anyone from the Tablighi gathering,” an officer said.