Friday Apr 17 2020
Web Desk

COVID-19: India charges Tablighi Jamaat leader with manslaughter

Web Desk
Muslim worshippers line up in a street in India. Photo: Reuters

Indian authorities on Thursday charged the leader of a Tablighi Jamaat with manslaughter for allegedly holding a religious event which ultimately led to the spread of the coronavirus in Delhi.

Muhammad Saad Khandavi has been charged with manslaughter for allegedly ignoring two notices to call off the event, held in New Delhi in March, according to police.

The event, according to police, started on March 3 and despite the government imposing a countrywide lockdown to contain the coronavirus, continued till March 24.

As per police, the event helped spread the coronavirus in more than 1,000 people. Infected foreigners who attended the event were suspected of spreading the coronavirus among the population.

Khandavi has been charged with culpable homicide which means he cannot apply for bail. Culpable homicide does not amount to a murder charge.

Saad and his organisation rejected charges and claimed they were innocent. His jamaat said that they cancelled the event the day India imposed a day-long curfew on March 22 and told everyone at the event to leave.

According to Khandavi, many left but some were stranded as states refused to allow people to migrate within the country and the next day, India went into lockdown. 

India has seen a rapid rise in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases over the past few days. According to worldometer, as of Thursday, India reported 12,759 cases of the virus. More than 400 fatalities were recorded in the country as the lockdown remains in force.