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Prayagraj: Police book university professor Mohammad Shahid for concealing information about attending Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi

After returning from Delhi's Nizamuddin Markaz, Prof Shahid was on duty in an examination hall, where around 150 students were taking the examination for five days.

Uttar Pradesh police have registered an FIR against an Allahabad University (AU) professor, Mohammad Shahid, who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi but did not inform police about this.

Professor Mohammad Shahid of the department of political science has been 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 professor was arrested following a tip-off. On receiving information, the Prayagraj police in a late-night swoop, raided his house Thursday and grilled him about his Jamaat connection and his participation in the congregation. After confirming his travel history the police took him, along with his wife and adopted son and quarantined them at Mehboob guest house in Kareli area of the city.

Police have confirmed that Mohammad Shahid, a resident Rasoolabad area of the city, is said to be associated with the Tablighi Jamaat for long and had visited several countries while serving on many high posts of the organization. He had also visited Ethiopia a few months back.

When he returned to New Delhi, he allegedly attended the Tablighi Jamaat at Nizamuddin Markaz, India’s coronavirus super-spreader, from 6 to 10 March.

He came back to Allahabad on March 11 and was assigned invigilator’s duty in the university during annual exams from March 12-16. He was on duty in an examination hall, where around 150 students were taking the examination for five days.

On receiving information, SP (city) Brijesh Kumar Srivastava and his team reached the professor’s house and after confirming his travel history, the family was taken to a guest house at Kareli, where a medical team collected their throat and nasal swab samples for testing.

The SP claimed that a drive has been launched to round up his contacts so that they could also be quarantined. He added that earlier also the professor was asked about his participation in the congregation but he denied it.

SSP (Prayagraj) Satyarth Aniruddha Pankaj said, “We are now identifying the students and faculty members who came in contact with the professor. We will also contact the other family members of the professor and those who met him after he returned from Delhi.”

Allahabad University registrar Dr NK Shukla said the varsity administration may also initiate administrative action under the AU Act against Prof Shahid for not following the health protocol after returning from Delhi and putting the life of scores of students, teachers and staff at risk. Prof Shahid’s elder brother is a professor of commerce in the same university.

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