India has introduced charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder in opposition to the chief of a Muslim seminary for holding a gathering in March that authorities say led to a big jump in coronavirus cases, police stated on Thursday.
The headquarters of the Tablighi Jamaat group in a cramped corner of Delhi had been sealed and thousands of followers, along with some from Indonesia, Malaysia and Bangladesh, had been taken into quarantine after it emerged they’d attended meetings there in mid-March.
Police initially filed a case against Muhammad Saad Kandhalvi, the chief of the center, for breaching a ban on big gatherings but had now invoked the law in opposition to culpable homicide.
A spokesperson for the Tablighi Jamaat group, Mujeeb-ur Rehman, declined to remark saying they had not confirmed reports concerning the new charges.
The Tablighi is one of the world’s largest Sunni Muslim proselytizing organizations with followers in over 80 nations, promoting a pure form of Islam.
Authorities stated at the beginning of the month that a third of the around 3,000 coronavirus cases at that time had been both people who attended the Tablighi gathering or those who had been later exposed to them.
India’s tally of coronavirus infections has since jumped to 12,380, along with 414 deaths, as of Thursday.
In the coronavirus sizzling spot of Delhi, 1,080 of its 1,561 cases had been linked to the group’s gathering, based on the city data on Wednesday.