A Delhi Police chargesheet into the Northeast Delhi riots has mentioned Tablighi Jamaat chief Maulana Saad, and claims that his rise in the Tablighi Jamaat coincided with the rise of Rajdhani School owner Faisal Farooque. While the Markaz Nizamuddin had earlier found a mention in the riots chargesheet, this is the first time Saad’s name has cropped up.
While the riots took place in February, the Markaz and Saad came into news only in March, during the beginning of the Covid outbreak.
On the Tablighi chief, the chargesheet states: “After Saad rose to power in Tablighi Jamaat, it has been noticed that Faisal Farooque has also risen in terms of acquisition of real estate in Northeast district.”
Farooque and 17 others were chargesheeted by the Delhi Police at the Karkardooma court on June 3. It is alleged that he was in contact with people who were “part of the larger conspiracy behind the riots in Northeast Delhi”. The chargesheet also mentions Haji Yunus, the AAP MLA from Mustafabad, as an “intermediary”.
MLA Yunus told The Indian Express, “These allegations made by the police have to be proven. I have not been contacted by the police as of now.”
Dr M A Anwar, the owner of New Mustafabad’s Al Hind hospital that provided emergency treatment to victims during the riots, also finds a mention in the chargesheet. This is the third time his name finds a mention in a riots chargesheet.
The chargesheet has a flowchart titled “CDR (call detail record) analysis: Faisal in touch with local Muslim leaders” . In it, next to Dr Anwar’s name is a line: “Suspect role in Daryaganj riots too”.
The chargesheet mentions the “phone connectivity between Farooque and Abdul Aleem of Banglewali Masjid Markaz” (commonly known as Nizamuddin Markaz), and claims that “Aleem is a close associate of Maulana Saad, who is the head of Tablighi Jamaat”. The chargesheet states that Farooque and Aleem were in touch with each other via phone calls and SMS at least 13 times between February 20 and March 3.
“Faisal Farooque played a pivotal role in organising riots in and around Rajdhani school. Abdul Aleem, by virtue of holding an important position in Tablighi Jamaat leadership, could have played a role in facilitating Faisal Farooque. Further investigation into this aspect in this case is being done,” the chargesheet states.
The chargesheet mentions a list of properties bought by Farooque and his father “after 2014 — since Saad came to power”. As per the chargesheet, “Maulana Saad rose to power in the Tablighi Jamaat in 2014… Farooque is a regular attendee of the markaz… his closeness to the Tablighi Jamaat is apparent in his regular contact with Abdul Aleem, who is a close associate of Maulana Saad.”
The chargesheet states that further investigation, in terms of role played by Tablighi Jamaat, if any, in the riots is still being investigated.
Maulana Saad’s lawyer Shahid Ali told The Indian Express, “The claims are false. Maulana Saad and the Markaz have nothing to do with this case. Maulana Saad has lakhs of followers across the world, and many people from across the world and India visit the Markaz. This doesn’t mean he has a role to play in the money they earn. These claims are baseless.”
Farooque’s counsel R K Kochar said, “There is no connection between my client and Tablighi Jamaat. The properties purchased by his family have no connection to Maulana Saad.”
As per the chargesheet, Farooque’s father joined Delhi Police as a sub-inspector in 1970 and left that job in 1978. “He became an LIC agent and also started dabbling in property business, and his present worth is close to Rs 1,000 crore,” states the chargesheet.
The police in their chargesheet claimed that Farooque “had hatched a conspiracy to precipitate and aggravate riots in and around the school”. Police claimed that it was on Farooque’s instructions that the “adjacent and rival” DRP Convent School, two parking lots and the Anil Sweets building were “systematically destroyed” by the mob.
The chargesheet also states that Farooque was in contact with PFI, JCC, Pinjra Tod group, and local Muslim clerics. A Delhi court had recently granted bail to Farooque after it observed that “chargesheet is bereft of material showing the links of applicant with PFI, Pinjra Tod group and Muslim clerics”.
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