Soon after the role of Tablighi Jamaat as the most potent coronavirus hotspot came to the fore, Maulana Saad Kandhalvi, who heads the orthodox Islamic organisation headquartered in Nizamuddin has been on the run from the police to evade arrest. The police are now investigating into the finances of Tablighi Jamaat, suspecting Maulana Saad of being involved in money laundering. In the preliminary investigation, the police have discovered that the outsize donation received by Tablighi Jamaat in the month of March was transferred to more than a dozen different bank accounts almost within 24-48 hours of receiving the amount.
Millions of rupees as donation, maximum in March this year
According to the Crime Branch of Delhi Police, which is investigating the finances of Tablighi Jamaat, Maulana Saad has been receiving money in the tunes of billions by anti-national forces. They have also asserted that the money received by Tablighi Jamaat is being made under the guise of donation for religious education. The role of accused Maulana Saad’s acolyte, Javed, is also under scanner as the police have accused him of transferring millions of rupees every day to Markaz’s account in batches from different bank accounts to escape scrutiny.
As per a report in Jagran, the Crime Branch and Enforcement Directorate of the Delhi Police, which is investigating the Tablighi Markaz, have discovered a bank account in the Bank of India’s branch at Nizamuddin in the name of Markaz. Maulana Saad’s name is also mentioned in the account. Although Tablighi Jamaat keeps receiving the donation from its patrons all around the year, the investigative agencies are probing into the unusually large donations that the organisation received in the month of March.
However, a key aspect to this donation was that within 24-48 hours of receiving the windfall, the money was transferred to more than a dozen accounts through net banking, raising suspicion. When the bank officials questioned Javed regarding the suspicious transfer, he gave evasive replies to the bank officials’ queries. Later, when on March 31, the bank officials warned to close the bank account if Saad does not appear in person.
The influence wielded by the head of Tablighi Jamaat organisation can be gauged from the fact that when the bank officials asked one of his closest confidantes, Javed, to ask Maulana to appear before them, he right-away rejected their demand saying Saad will not appear. He even gloated to the bank officials that even a prominent security officer along with several others had to seek Maulana’s time before meeting him.
In order to ascertain the truth behind the suspicious bank account transfer, the Crime Branch is preparing to arrest not just Maulana Saad but other six maulanas involved in the management- Ashraf, Mufti Shehzad, Dr Zeeshan, Murshleen Saifi, Salman and Yunus.
Significantly, in its investigation to determine the whereabouts of Maulana Saad, the team of Delhi Crime Branch on Thursday reached Shamli district of UP. Maulana Saad reportedly owns a plush farm-house in the district which he frequents every year. However, he wasn’t found there.
Cases filed against Maulana Saad
As the congregation organised at Markaz Nizamuddin and attended by thousands of Tablighi Jamaat patrons across the country rendered it into a super-spreader of the coronavirus, the head of Islamic organisation, Maulana Saad, was booked under The Epidemics Act 1897 for allowing religious congregation in the month of March despite repeated warnings from the centre and the state government. He disregarded the guidelines issued by the government in the light of the Wuhan coronavirus epidemic which is spreading rapidly. Maulana Saad is wanted in an offence lodged by the Delhi Police under sections of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and sections of the Indian Penal Code, for violating government directions on steps to be taken for avoiding the spread of Wuhan Coronavirus.
In addition, the Delhi police have also charged Tablighi Jamaat Chief Maulana Saad Kandhalvi for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The charges of culpable homicide under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code was added to the FIR that was already lodged against the religious leader on March 31.
Furthermore, the Enforcement Directorate has registered a money laundering case against the Tablighi Jamaat Chief Maulana Saad Kandhalvi and nine others on Thursday under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) based on predicate offence that is registered by Delhi police.