elhi was put on complete lockdown days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the nationwide lockdown. Over 3400 people had gathered at the Nizamuddin area for the Tablighi Jamaat event.
Six people in Telangana have died after attending the religious event at Nizamuddin while some of the deaths in states like Maharashtra may also have links to this event.
Here’s how the congregation defied government lockdown orders:
March 13: 3400 people gather at the Nizamuddin markaz as part of a religious gathering.
March 16: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal announces that no religious, social, political gatherings of more than 50 people are allowed in Delhi till March 31.
People at the Nizamuddin Markaz still continue to stay put.
March 20: 10 Indonesians who attended the gathering in Delhi test positive in Telangana.
March 22: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Janta Curfew is observed across nation. No public gatherings were allowed for a day.
March 23: 1500 people vacate the Markaz.
March 24: PM Modi announces nationwide lockdown for 21 days. No public gatherings, any kind of non-essential movement outside residences allowed. Only essential services allowed to remain functional.
March 24: Nizamuddin Police asks remaining people at the Markaz to vacate the area.
March 25: Around 1000 people are still residing in the area defying lockdown orders. A medical team visits the Markaz and suspected cases are isolated in a hall within the building. Jamaat officials go to the SDM’s office. File an application for permission to vacate. Vehicles list was also given to seek passes.
March 26: An Indian preacher who attended the gathering in Delhi is tested positive and dies in Srinagar.
March 26: SDM visits the Markaz and calls the Jamaat officials for a meeting with the District Magistrate.
March 27: Six coronavirus suspects are taken away from the Markaz for medical checkup and are later put in a quarantine facility in Jhajjar, Haryana.
March 28: A World Health Organisation (WHO) team along with the SDM visit the Markaz. 33 people who were taken for medical checkup are isolated at Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Hospital in Delhi.
March 28: ACP, Lajpat Nagar, sends a notice to the Markaz to vacate immediately.
March 29: Markaz officials respond to the ACP’s letter saying no new people were allowed to gather post the nationwide lockdown announcement. The current gathering had started much before the lockdown and that the PM in his lockdown speech said jo jahaan hai, vahin rahe (stay put wherever you are).
29 March night: Police and health authorities start taking out people from the Markaz and send them to hospitals and quarantine facilities.
Delhi Police has claimed that they sent two notices to the mosque committee but they still didn’t mend their ways. Notices were sent on March 23 and March 28.
Sources said, on March 23, around 1500 people were sent to their respective states from the Markaz. However, it is not clear how many of them were coronavirus positive. The mosque committee said that they wrote a letter on March 23 to the police seeking permission for vehicles so that the people could be sent away.
A letter addressed to Lajpat Nagar ACP, Atul Kumar, by Maulana Yusuf on behalf of the Markaz masjid stated that no fresh entry was given and efforts were being made to decongest the place but after Janta Curfew further orders of lockdown.
It has been mentioned in the letter that Delhi government knew about the situation prevailing at Nizamuddin.