The Bandra police in Mumbai has dropped charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and attempt to murder filed against 12 Indonesian nationals in connection to the Tablighi Jamaat gathering held in Delhi’s Nizamuddin in March.
The 12 men, who had tested negative for Covid-19, were initially booked under the two charges under IPC — one of which attracts the maximum punishment of life imprisonment — following allegations that they were responsible for spreading the virus by attending the gathering.
In the chargesheet likely to be filed on Tuesday before the metropolitan magistrate’s court in Bandra, the 12 men will continue to face other charges in connection to the violation of lockdown norms, visa conditions and sections of the Epidemic Diseases Act.
A senior police officer told The Indian Express that since no evidence was found to substantiate the charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and attempt to murder, they were dropped.
The Bandra police had booked the men claiming that they came to Delhi separately on February 29 and March 2 from Indonesia and thereafter to the city on March 8, as part of a Tablighi Jamaat group.
Following this, they were quarantined in Bandra and tested for Covid-19. Their tests returned negative in March.
The police, claiming that they had violated lockdown rules and put the lives of others at risk, had arrested 10 of them.
The court, while granting them bail, had stated that there is “no propriety” in contending that they are responsible for spreading Covid-19, as they had tested negative for the infection.
Following this, two others in the group were granted anticipatory bail by the sessions court.
The 12 men are currently residing in Mumbai, awaiting completion of the trial.