The Tablighi Jamaat event has emerged as coronavirus hotspot in India. It must handle the havoc brought by Tablighi Jamaat Nizamuddin event on a priority basis otherwise it will have a catastrophic outcome for India. Currently, more than 647 Coronavirus positive cases out of the total 2894 in India are linked to Nizamuddin Markaz event.
Event and the Eventual Incident
The Jamaat is a pre-planned event held once every year. The event took place from 15th to 17th March, even after the Delhi government ordered the suspension of gatherings with more than 50 people with effect from 16 March.
It was after when PM Modi called a ‘Janta curfew’, 1500 people left Markaz. After this, the police asked the remaining people to vacate the building as ordered by SHO. Jamaat officials asked the government for the vehicles required to move 1000 people including 300 foreigners. In total, there were around 3,400 people in the meet who left for different parts of the country.
Despite the ban imposed by the Centre on visas, the bulk of the members in Jamaat were from Indonesia and Malaysia. Delhi government confirmed that they have identified 1830 people from 19 States and UTs. Manish Sisodia, deputy chief minister of Delhi stated that the government has evacuated more than 2361 people after 36-hour operation from the building. Out of these, they have hospitalized 617 with symptoms and quarantined the rest.
Concerns Over blaming the entire Muslim Community
Given how the Tablighi Jamaat event took place at Nizamuddin, the Muslim society including minority organizations and Muslim clerics condemned this foolish act. However, they expressed their concern for holding the entire community responsible for the spread. Jamiat Ulema I Hind, the largest Muslim organization in the country stated that the congregation must not have held at such a time. Jamiat’s general secretary and former MP in Rajya Sabha Maulana Mahmood Madani said that only the guilty must receive punishment.
It is the role of the government and the legal system to decide the punishment. Further, he stated that there are around ten lakh mosques in the country and they immediately ordered the closure after the government announced banning the religious congregations. However, he mentioned that if four-five mosques still operated, the entire community must not be blamed.
The Central government has alerted state governments about the Tablighi Jamaat, Nizamuddin members being potential carriers of Coronavirus. Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba held a meeting with state Chief Secretaries and police chiefs and directed them to contact trace the people returning from the event and take actions against visa violations.
The foreigners who were a part of the congregation, the Home Ministry declared that it will send back the ones showing no symptoms their respective countries form the first flight available. Further, it directed officials to quarantine or hospitalize the one’s showing symptoms. 10 foreigners who were a part of Jammat have tested positive for the virus.
Railways Helps to Contact Trace
On the other hand, Railways is providing lists of passengers to the district authorities to facilitate comparing to the list of attendees to ensure proper contact tracing. The Railways is examining the list of the five trains that ran from Delhi between March 13 to March 19. However, it has not declared the actual number of people who may have come in contact with the Jamaat attendees.
FIR Against Maulana Saad Kandhalvi
An FIR is in order against Maulana Kandhalvi following the violation of the government’s orders. Police complained the organizers didn’t inform them about people falling sick inside the mosque. Above all, the organizers assured them by saying that it was a religious event taking place behind closed doors. On 28th March WHO team along with area SDM visited the place and found that people showed symptoms of infection from Coronavirus. However, the Jamaat officials stated that they had to stay put and stop the evacuation process due to the lockdown.
State-wise Identification of Jamaat Attendees
Madhya Pradesh government identified 82 out of 107 persons who attended a religious congregation of Tablighi Jamaat in Delhi. Further, Noida administration quarantined thirty-four Gautam Buddh Nagar residents who were a part of the Jamaat. Also, Pune District Collector, Naval Kishore Ram declared that the authorities have quarantined 60 people involved in the congregation. However, no one has shown symptoms yet. There are a total of 130 people who attended the event at Nizamuddin Markaz. Telangana administration estimated over 1,000 people from the state could have attended the congregation in Delhi.
The officials have traced 34 people including 29 foreigners in Ahmednagar. Out of these 29 foreigners, results of 14 have come & 2 have tested positive for COVID-19. Besides, three people who came in contact with them also tested positive. Karnataka Health Minister announced that 62 Indonesian and Malaysian nationals visited the state after Markaz prayers. They have traced 12 such people and quarantined them.
Also, the government has red-zoned seven key areas of central Kashmir and 20 villages as the COVID cases in the valley rose to 55. Also, the government is searching for around 855 people in Kashmir who may have come in contact with Jamaat attendees.
Bihar administration reported its 86 residents involved in Markaz in Delhi . While they have found 48 people, rest are untraceable. Further, District Magistrate, Jaunpur (Uttar Pradesh) revealed that around 50 attendees were kept in isolation at Shia College upon returning to the district.
UN has cautioned the world about slipping into recession and regarded COVID as the worst crisis after World War II. The Jamaat incident has increased the risks and workload of officials; it is to see how India tackles the challenge now.