Gathering at Nizamuddin a highly irresponsible act, says Kejriwal

Govt. claims to have written to L-G, asking him to refer the matter to the police

March 31, 2020 11:24 pm | Updated 11:24 pm IST - New Delhi

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said the gathering at the Nizamuddin Markaz (centre) was a “highly irresponsible act” and the government had written to Lieutenant-Governor Anil Baijal asking him to refer the matter to the police.

According to a Raj Niwas spokesperson, these directions came on Tuesday evening with Mr. Baijal directing the police to take “appropriate action as per law” in relation to the case. Of the 97 COVID-19 cases in the city, 24 were from the Nizamuddin centre or the Tablighi Jamaat, Mr. Kejriwal said.

Rise in cases

“There is no denying that there has been a considerable rise in COVID-19 cases in Delhi. Around March 12-13, people from across the nations gathered for a religious congregation. Many of them left for their homes but many stayed back. We are now bringing out the people who have stayed back and tests are being conducted now, out of which 24 cases have come out to be positive,” Mr. Kejriwal said.

He added: “In the last three days, 1,548 people have been brought out of the centre, 441 have been moved to hospitals and 1,447 to quarantine facilities.”

The Chief Minister said the world was affected by the disease with even developed nations under its ambit. Thousands of peoplehad lost their lives in the U.S., Spain, Italy, China and many more, he added.

If religious congregations of different faiths continued, it was going to be “a huge problem”, he said, terming the congregation at Nizamuddin “a serious act” and requesting religious leaders across different faiths to ensure that no gatherings are encouraged.

“Navratri has been going on but we have seen no crowd on the streets and in the temples. Gurudwaras have been shut, people are not going to masjids, Mecca is empty, Vatican City is empty,” Mr. Kejriwal said.

“Many people have gone back to other cities after attending this event. I hope not but think about the people that have been already affected by this. With folded hands, I request all the religious leaders and people to cooperate with the government,” he added.

The government had written to the L-G for filing an FIR against the mosque administration, he said, adding: “Several reports of how the officials did not act on time are also coming up. If the involvement of any official is found out, strict action will be taken against them. Lives of many people present in the centre have been put at risk; six persons died after attending the event and reaching Telangana,” he added.

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