• Friday, May 27, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

Tabligh Jamaat leader Maulana Saad sued for money laundering

  • Published at 02:16 pm April 17th, 2020

He was earlier charged of culpable homicide not amounting to murder

Tabligh Jamaat chief Maulana Muhammad Saad Kandhalvi has been charged with money laundering by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in India.

The Islamic group, Tabligh Jamaat, organized a religious congregation in Delhi last month setting off India's biggest cluster of coronavirus cases, reports NDTV. 

Earlier on Thursday, the police had brought charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against the 56-year-old chief of the Muslim seminary for holding the gathering last month at its "Markaz" or headquarters in Delhi's Nizamuddin.

The Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) against Maulana Saad and trusts linked to the Jamaat and others was filed by the agency based on a Delhi Police case.

Officials said the agency is investigating the finances and transactions of the Tabligh Jamaat and its office bearers over the last few days and has obtained various documents from banks and financial intelligence gathering agencies, news agency PTI reported.

They said certain donations received by the organization from foreign and domestic sources are also under the scanner of the agency.

The ED is soon expected to issue summons to Maulana Saad, reported to be in self quarantine, for questioning in the case. 

The agency, they said, is also looking at the opinion of medical experts about his claim of self-quarantine amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The cleric was supposed to join the investigations against him on Monday at the end of his quarantine period.

The police had sealed the Markaz of the Tabligh Jamaat group in the cramped neighbourhood and thousands of followers, including some from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Bangladesh, were taken into quarantine after it emerged they had attended meetings there in mid-March.

The police had initially filed a case against Maulana Saad for violating a ban on big gatherings.

"Delhi police had filed a first information report earlier against the Tablighi chief, now section 304 has been added," an officer said, referring to culpable homicide in the penal code, which carries a maximum punishment of a 10-year prison term.

A spokesman for the Tabligh Jamaat group, Mujeeb-ur Rehman, declined to comment saying they had not confirmed reports about the new charges.

The Tabligh is one of the world's biggest Sunni Muslim proselytizing organizations with followers in more than 80 countries. At least 9,000 people participated in the Nizamuddin event. Later, many of the attendees travelled to various parts of the country.

Authorities said at the beginning of the month that a third of the nearly 3,000 coronavirus cases at that time were either people who attended the Tabligh gathering or those who were later exposed to them.

More than 25,500 Tabligh members and their contacts have been quarantined in the country after the centre and the state governments conducted a massive operation to trace them.

India's tally of coronavirus infections has since jumped over 12,000, including more than 400 deaths, as of Thursday.

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