Critics of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government have cautioned against fanning communal tension by laying the blame for the spread of the coronavirus on the Muslim group.
Officials have rejected suggestions they were unfairly targeting the Muslim community, but said they had to rebuke the group because it had behaved irresponsibly by ignoring social-distancing rules.
The Tablighi was also linked to a surge of cases in neighbouring Pakistan where it cancelled a similar gathering, but only at the last minute when thousands had already arrived at a premises in the city of Lahore.
A gathering organised by the group in Malaysia also led to a surge of cases there and in several other Southeast Asian countries.
Pakistan has recorded 6,505 cases according to its latest data, a jump of 520 over the previous day. About 60 per cent of Pakistan’s cases load was linked to the Tablighi or were people who had gone on religious pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia and Iran, officials said.