BHOPAL: Twenty-three members of a minority community were arrested in Madhya Pradesh for allegedly defying CrPC section 144 and engaging in unlawful and dangerous acts related to the spread of coronavirus, police said on Friday.
Twelve of them were arrested in Agar Malwa district and the remaining in Dewas district on Thursday, they said, all of them have been quarantined for 14 days.
None of them had taken part in the religious gathering held in Delhi's Nizamuddin area last month, which has become a key source of the spread of coronavirus in the country, police officials said.
Those arrested in Agar Malwa district were staying in a room behind a religious place in the Nalkheda area and have been placed under quarantine, superintendent of police Manoj Singh said.
"They are residents of Delhi and came to the district on March 10. They did not inform authorities about their stay. They defied section 144 of the CrPC (banning assembly of 5 or more people) by staying together as well," he added.
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They were arrested and charged under IPC sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 269 (unlawful act likely to spread infection) and 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), the Agar Malwa SP said.
None of them had attended the religious gathering in Delhi's Nizamuddin area last month, (which has become a key source of the spread of coronavirus in the country), Singh said.
They were involved in preaching among their community members, another officer said.
Likewise, the 11 persons arrested in Dewas were also charged under the same sections of IPC as their Agar Malwa counterparts, district superintendent of police Krishna Veni Desavapu said.
Of them, 10 are from Jaipur, who were moving from place to place in the district without informing authorities, and a local resident who gave them shelter, she added.
They came to Dewas district, which is under curfew, for religious work, Desavapu said.
All of them have been quarantined for 14 days according to procedure being followed to check the spread of COVID-19, the SP said.
None of them attended the religious gathering in Delhi's Nizamuddin area last month, she said.
However, the SP said they were part of the Tablighi Jamaat, an Islamic organisation, and involved in preaching.
Madhya Pradesh has so far reported more than 115 coronavirus cases and eight fatalities.