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Nizamuddin congregation: In letter to Kejriwal government, Delhi Police asks for immediate action against participants

The communique said there were 157 such people -- 94 from Indonesia, 13 from Kyrgyzstan, 9 from Bangladesh, 8 from Malaysia, 7 from Algeria and one each from Tunisia, Belgium and Italy.

Published: 01st April 2020 12:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st April 2020 12:02 AM   |  A+A-

People who came for Jamat a religious gathering at Nizamuddin Mosque being taken to LNJP hospital for coronavirus testing

People who came for Jamat a religious gathering at Nizamuddin Mosque being taken to LNJP hospital for coronavirus testing. (Photo | Anil Shakya, EPS)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Delhi Police Special Branch on Tuesday wrote to the city government for taking immediate action with regard to people, including foreign nationals, who stayed in 16 mosques in the national capital after taking part in a religious congregation at Nizamuddin which has turned out to be a COVID-19 hotspot, officials said.

The communique said there were 157 such people -- 94 from Indonesia, 13 from Kyrgyzstan, 9 from Bangladesh, 8 from Malaysia, 7 from Algeria and one each from Tunisia, Belgium and Italy.

Remaining are Indian nationals.

It said they were staying in mosques in South East, North East and other districts in the city, police said.

"A team of district administration, police and health department is visiting mosques and evacuating foreign nationals and shifting them to quarantine. They were part of Markaz and to decongest the building they had been shifted to various mosques in the national capital," said a police officer.

No social distancing would be possible at those places.

It may cause grave danger to public health and the objective of containing  COVID-19, the communique said.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said 24 people who attended the religious congregation at Tabligh-e-Jamaat's Markaz earlier this month have tested positive for coronavirus, while 1,548 have been evacuated and 441 hospitalised after they showed its symptoms.

Delhi police also released a video on Tuesday, showing a senior policeman persuading a group of Nizamuddin Markaz members to ask visitors to return to their native places due to government orders on maintaining social distance to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Police officials said the video was shot on March 23 at Hazrat Nizamuddin SHO's office.

The video shows the SHO urging and at times warning members of the Markaz (centre) to immediately ensure not more than five people can gather as all religious places are closed.

But there are still a large number of people in their buildings, he tells the members, warning them that if they don't heed to repeated police requests he will be forced to take strict legal action.

He also shows them what he says is a notice to vacate the area.

The video has been released after a few people, including AAP leaders Atishi and Amanatullah Khan, criticised the police for not taking action and getting the area vacated.

Khan said he informed DCP (southeast) and ACP Nizamuddin on March 23 that about 1,000 people were stuck in the area, and asked why did the police not make any arrangement to move them out.

In the video, the SHO explains the group of Markaz members about the need for social distancing and asks them to contact the SDM to facilitate the movement of people still residing in their buildings.

One of the members interrupts the SHO during the meeting and tells him that they had removed 1,500 people but there are 1,000 more who are from cities like Lucknow, Bijnore, Varanasi.

The members say the visitors are unable to vacate the buildings due to the lockdown.

The officer tells them he will speak to SDM and warns them to comply with the order to vacate.



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