NEW DELHI: Delhi Police on Wednesday conducted raids at various locations to arrest Maulana Saad Kandhlawi, the head of Tablighi Jamaat who has been named in an FIR along with five others members of the organisation for violating government directions and holding a religious gathering at its headquarters in Nizamuddin area of south Delhi.
The probe has been handed over to Crime Branch which is also analysing an audio clip in which Saad is allegedly heard asking people not to fear novel coronavirus, calling it a conspiracy against Islam.
The others name in the FIR are Zeeshan, Mufti Shehzad, Mohhammad Saifi, Maulana Younus and Mohammad Salman. All of them are members of the management committee of Markaz, as the headquarters of the organistaion is called.
A Crime Branch officer said raids are being conducted in Delhi and at other possible hideouts in Uttar Pradesh, for which the help of the state police being taken. “Investigation is going on and efforts are being made to ascertain whether the voice in the audio clips is of Maulana Saad,” said a police officer, adding that Saad is untraceable.
However, the associates of the Jamaat head denied the police version and said the preacher was at his home. Musharraf Ali Khan, a follower of Jamaat and member of the committee said, “The Maulana is not underground or running away from police. He is a religious person. He has his residence on the Markaz campus. He is in self-isolation as lockdown is in force and will surely cooperate with the police.” He, however, added that Kandhlawi might have gone to his relatives’ place in Muzaffarnagar, UP.
Saad was booked on Tuesday after the police and district administration evacuated 2,361 people from the Markaz during a 36-hour long operation which continued till early hours of Wednesday. The building and adjoining areas were sanitised after the evacuation on Wednesday.