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Markaz Nizamuddin says it was constantly in touch with authorities, followed the norms during lockdown

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Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

Markaz Nizamuddin, the international headquaters of the Tablighi Jamaat, has said that there was no defiance of lockdown, all orders were duly followed and officials were constantly in touch with the Markaz in this period.

In a long statement, the Markaz has said that when the Janata Curfew was announced for March 22, the Markaz immediately discontinued its programme, however, due to sudden cancellation of the rail services, visitors got stuck in the Markaz.

"As desired by PM, the visitors were advised not to venture out...the plans to move back to their native places did not materialize due to suspension of rail services". "The Delhi govt announced lockdown on March 23 till 31. Hence, there was no way these people could be sent by road or any other way".

The nationwide lockdown was announced by PM on the same day, and it was clearly said that people had to stay where they were stationed. Hence, they got stranded. The Markaz had stated that on March 24, the local police station sent a notice that sought closure of the Markaz.

In the response, Markaz officials told police that there was absolute compliance and 1,500 people had departed but 1,000 visitors belonging to different states and nationalities were left stranded. "The SDM was requested to issue vehicle passes so that most could be sent to their native places outside Delhi. The list of vehicles was submitted to obtain permission, which was not granted".

Then, on March 25th, the Tehsildar and medical team visited the markaz and were given full cooperation. The SDM visited the place the next day and he was also informed and permission was again sought for vehicles arranged by Markaz.

ON March 27th, six persons were taken for check up. Even on March 28, Ld SDM and WHO team visited and took 33 people for checkup. Surprisingly, the notice was issued by ACP's office warning of legal action, despite the deliberations and steps taken in consultation with authorities.

The Markaz has said that a rumour gained ground that people allegedly affected with COVID 1 were present in Markaz and this was circulated. "Unexpectedly, the CM of Delhi went on to stay that he has directed authorities to take legal action against the administration of the Markaz".

"It is humbly stated that if the above fact-check could have been done by Office of CM, the authorities would have apprised him about their visits, deliberations and cooperation extended by Markaz to disperse the remaining visitors. The Tabligh Jama'at Markaz has insisted that it never violated any provision of law and did not violate medical guidelines.

Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

Journalist for more than 20 years. Had started his career with National Mail in the nineties. Worked as Special Correspondent with Hindustan Times, as an Assistant Editor with DB Post, later Contributing Editor with The Huffington Post, writes for First Post, The Wire, Newsd & several other major publications.