Uttar Pradesh Police had booked a professor at the Allahabad University, Mohammad Shahid, for concealing information about his visit to the Tablighi Jamaat event at Markaz Nizamuddin in Delhi. After receiving information, Prayagraj Police had raided his house and after a brief interrogation, proceeded to quarantine him at a guest house in the city. After the end of the mandatory quarantine period of two weeks, he was formally arrested by the Police on the 21st of April. Now, it is reported that he has been suspended from his job at the Allahabad University by the Vice-Chancellor.
Professor Mohammad Shahid of the department of political science was booked under sections 269 (acting negligently and likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life), 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease) and 271 (disobedience to quarantine rule) of the Indian Penal Code and the sections of Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, in Shivkuti police station on April 9.
The Vice-Chancellor invoked the powers granted to his office under sub-clause (i) of Clause 23 of The Statutes of the University, as provided by the University of Allahabad Act, 2005 read along with the provision of Clause 7(a) of Ordinance XLI of the same act to place Mohammad Shahid under suspension with effect from the date of detention, that is, 21st of April. The order further stated that the professor will be permitted subsistence allowance as per the applicable rules of the University of Allahabad and Financial Rules of the Government of India.
Tablighi Jamaat members hiding in Prayagraj mosques
The Tablighi Jamaat members were reportedly living in two mosques in Prayagraj where they had hidden their travel history. On 31st March, 7 Indonesian nationals along with two others were caught living illegally in a mosque at Katju road in Shahganj. Similarly, 11 Jamaatis including 9 Thailand nationals were found living in a mosque at Kareli in Hera mosque. They had all attended the Nizamuddin Markaz event. A case was registered against them all and they were put on quarantine. Later, Police got a tip that one of the professors at Allahabad University had recently returned from Nizamuddin event and was continuing with his life without informing the authorities. Later he, along with his family, was also put on quarantine.
Professor Mohammad Shahid is also believed to have lent help to provide shelter to foreign nationals of the Tablighi Jamaat at a mosque. He was also associated with an Islamic organization in Ethiopia. He had also attended events organized by the organization. Last year in December, he had visited the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, for an event. He could not provide a valid answer to whether he had received permission from the University to attend the event.
The suspended professor of Allahabad University has visited numerous countries and is associated with numerous Islamic organizations in foreign countries. Mohammed Shahid has traveled to places such as Thailand, Qatar, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Malaysia, South Africa, Bangladesh, Japan, Canada, Ethiopia, Ukraine, Dubai, London and Kenya. The Police is also investigating the financial angle in the matter.
The Islamic evangelical event, where Muslims around the world gather to learn to live life as prescribed by Prophet Mohammad, was held in Delhi’s Nizamuddin Markaz in March this year. The event, which was attended by several foreign nationals, ended up being a hot spot for coronavirus cases in India, contributing to as many as 30% COVID-19 positive cases in India. Tablighi Jamaat members have also been accused of misbehaving with healthcare workers, including molesting nurses and pelting stones at doctors and cops.