The Delhi Police’s Crime Branch has raided a farmhouse of Tablighi Jamaat leader Maulana Saad Kandhalvi, who was booked for organising a religious congregation here in violation of COVID-19 lockdown orders, officials said on Thursday.
The raid was carried out at Kandhalvi’s farmhouse in Uttar Pradesh’s Shamli district, they said.
The cleric was booked along with seven others on a complaint at the city’s Nizamuddin police station for holding the congregation in alleged violation of the orders against large gatherings to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Indian Penal Code section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) is among the sections they have been booked, and the complaint was lodged by the Nizamuddin Station House Officer.
Several people who attended the event in March and travelled across the country tested positive for the coronavirus, and the Nizamuddin area where the gathering was held was declared a COVID-19 hotspot.
Kandhalvi, currently under home quarantine, in a statement on Monday, urged the followers of the organisation to pray at home in the month of Ramzan.
“I request all, both in India and abroad, to strictly follow the guidelines and instructions of the local or national governments and till the time restrictions are in place, and please observe prayers at home. And even in this, we should not invite people from outside,” he said in the statement.
In an audio message released earlier this month, Kandhalvi had said he was exercising self-quarantine after several hundred who visited the congregation at Nizamuddin Markaz tested positive for the coronavirus.