Tablighi Jamaat probe on hold as Maulana’s quarantine ends

New Delhi: Suspected coronavirus patients being taken to Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital from Delhi’s Nizamuddin area where a religious congregation of 2000 people at a mosque has thrown up several corona positive cases as six of the persons who returned to Telangana have died from the virus and positive cases are emerging from at least five regions including J&K, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and the Andaman and Nicobar islands; on March 31, 2020. The suspected outbreak was discovered earlier today in Delhi as it emerged that several hid their travel history to foreign countries and a large congregation was held on March 13-5 at the at the Tabligh-e-Jamaat’s Markaz in Nizamuddin. The area was sealed today and hundreds of those present were whisked away to hospitals. With this the coronavirus death toll in the country is 43 while the total number of cases has risen to 1,280. (Photo: IANS)

New Delhi, April 14 (IANS) The police investigation in the Tablighi Jamaat case has been put on hold. Tuesday was the first day since an FIR was registered against Jamaat chief Maulana Saad and a few of his associates that the crime branch team probing the case did not venture inside or near the Markaz building in Nizamuddin Basti.

When the IANS team reached the temporary office of the crime branch in the premises of Nizamuddin police station at around 5 pm, it was found locked. Station personnel said on condition of anonymity that “Nobody came here since morning.” When did the Crime Branch officials come last? When asked by IANS, the policemen said, “For the first few days, teams led by DCP Joy Tirkey and ACPs kept coming. Gradually the frequency decreased. Today (Tuesday) no one came for the whole day.”

When asked about this, sources in the crime branch told IANS on Tuesday evening, “Now there is nothing there (in the temporary office). Anyway, the area has been declared a hotspot. We will do our work from anywhere.” According to Delhi Police sources, on Tuesday Maulana Saad’s home quarantine period ended.

But it begs the question that if Maulana Saad’s quarantine is over, then why are the Crime Branch teams not questioning him.

In response to this question by IANS, an officer of Delhi Police Crime Branch said, “Medical report of the accused named is yet to come. Further investigation proceedings are dependent on the report itself.” On Monday, while talking to the media, a senior Delhi Police officer also said, “Investigation into the Jamaat case is going on. The investigation is going in the right direction. That’s why it is taking time.”

If sources of the Delhi Police Crime Branch are to be believed, then the issuance of Maulana Saad’s lookout notice is still pending. However, that too has been discussed. But no final decision has been taken on this yet. So why the delay in the lookout notice of the accused? When asked, a Crime Branch official said, “We do not have to ask anyone to issue a lookout notice. Nor is it a matter for the courts. We will give the details in writing to the FRRO (Foreigner Regional Registration Department) whenever we want.”

“Maulana and all the accused are in contact with us. All our notices have also been answered by the accused. However, these answers seemed to prolong the investigation. So the probe will proceed only when we meet him face to face.”

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