The Tablighi Jamaat committed a "Talibani crime" with its religious gathering that has been linked to 128 coronavirus cases across the country, union minister and BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said today, calling it an "unpardonable sin" by the organisation.
"Talibani Crime by Tablighi Jamaat. This is not negligence. It's a serious criminal act. When the entire country is fighting united against Corona, such a sin is unpardonable," the minority affairs minister said in a tweet.
Mr Naqvi also posted on his social media accounts messages by Muslim religious leaders appealing to people to strictly follow the coronavirus lockdown and other guidelines to control the virus.
The Tablighi Jamaat, an Islamic missionary movement with members across the world, preaches a return to orthodox Muslim ways. As the coronavirus pandemic swept through the world, Tablighi Jamaat continued to organize gatherings that have been linked to coronavirus cases in countries like Malaysia and Pakistan.
According to the home ministry, some 2,100 foreigners visited India for Tablighi activities since January 1 and all of them first went to its headquarters in Delhi's Nizamuddin, called "Markaz Nizamuddin". Hundreds of members had been staying in the building for a gathering in March.
Over 2,300 people were evacuated from the 100-year-old Markaz Nizamuddin building in a 36-hour operation that ended early this morning.
The evacuations started on Monday amid a nationwide search for suspected coronavirus cases emerging from the gathering. A police case has been filed against the mosque administration.
The Home Ministry has told states to track down Tablighi members who travelled to various parts of the country.
Fifty have tested positive in Tamil Nadu, 24 in Delhi, 21 in Telangana, 21 in Andhra Pradesh, 10 in Andamans and one each in Assam and Jammu and Kashmir after attending the gathering. 824 foreigners had also travelled to different states and their details had been shared with the police chiefs, the Home Ministry said.