An audio tape of cleric Maulana Saad, who led a huge religious congregation in Nizamuddin West earlier this month, has emerged. In the audio clip, Maulana Saad is heard advising people to not leave mosques amid fears of the spread of the coronavirus. He went on to say that no disease was going to harm them.
Maulana Saad was booked by the Delhi police on Tuesday for violating government orders on not organizing public gatherings and maintaining social distance to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
Saad said leaving mosques would bring no good. Do not leave mosques even if trusted doctors ask you to, the cleric said. In fact, he further said there was no better place to die than in a mosque. The audio clip is believed to be from March 18.
The Markaz (center) in the south Delhi neighborhood organized a Tabligh-e-Jamaat from March 1-15 and at least 2,000 people, including foreigners and Indians from across the country, attended the gathering. On Sunday night, many residents of the center started showing symptoms fro COVID-19 and police and paramilitary officials locked down the area but authorities fear a possible spread of the virus.
The Telangana government late Monday said six people who attended the congregation died due to the virus.
On Tuesday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said 24 people who took part in the Jamaat have tested positive and over 440 residing at the markaz have been hospitalized after they showed symptoms for the disease.