On Sunday, the Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi was reopened for prayers on the occasion of Shab-e-Barat, a year after it was shut down for violating Coronavirus protocols.
As per reports, around 50 Muslims offered prayers on Shab-e-Barat at the 6-storeyed building, amidst tight security. The Waqf Board, represented by Ramesh Gupta and advocate Wajeeh Shafiq, had urged the Court to allow ‘some Muslims’ to pray at the mosque inside the Markaz. They also asked the Court to decide the matter before April 13 as many Muslims want to offer prayers during Ramazan. On March 24, the Union government told the Delhi High Court that 50 people chosen by the Waqf Board can offer prayers inside the Markaz.
The names of the individuals were provided to the Station House Officer (SHO) of the area. They were allowed entry after a policeman verified their names with the list of the 50 people. Markaz volunteer Saif Ahmed claimed that all social distancing guidelines were followed. He said, “Fifty people have been allowed as of now… Government guidelines are being strictly followed. We hope that just like other places, be it a masjid, mandir or a gurdwara, where visitors have been allowed, people are allowed here too.”
Delhi Police close down markets to prevent large gatherings
When the prayers began at the mosque inside the Markaz, the cops ordered the closure of shops in the market to prevent overcrowding. A police official emphasised, “This is festival time and Covid is spreading fast. We cannot allow many people to gather.” The recent congregation at the Nizamuddin Markaz comes amidst the recent guidelines of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority banning large gatherings for festivals.
Tablighi Jamaat event in Nizamuddin Markaz and Coronavirus super-spreader
The Tablighi Jamaat congregation, which took place in Nizamuddin Markaz in the first half of March last year, became a mega-spreader of coronavirus in India, with members hiding from authorities and carrying the infection to almost all states in India. The persons who had attended the event, and their family members and those who came into contact with them tested positive regularly, contributing to the increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the country.
The Tablighi jamaat event in Delhi wreaked havoc in the country. The Markaz event was not only attended by Indian Muslims but also foreign nationals, some of whom were found covid positive.
The alarm bells should have started ringing when seven Indonesian nationals associated with the organization tested positive for the Wuhan Coronavirus in Telangana after travelling from Delhi to Karimnagar for an Ijtema. However, it was only later that the full scope of the Tablighi Jamaat’s contribution to the spreading of the virus became prominent when nearly 300 Jamaatis in Delhi’s Banglewali Masjid had to be taken to hospital for suspected coronavirus symptoms, many testing positive eventually.