Last week the central government told the Delhi High Court that 50 people chosen by the Waqf Board can be allowed to attend Shab-e-Barat
NEW DELHI — The Nizamuddin Markaz building of Tablighi Jamaat hosted a small gathering of 50 people on the eve of Shab-e-Barat on Sunday.
This was the first time since March 28 last year that a gathering has been allowed inside the premises. A policeman guarded the gate of the building and checked the permits of the worshipers before they were allowed to enter.
The Markaz had emerged as the first major coronavirus hotspot, sending fear across the country as administration scrambled for strict measures to curb the spread of the infection.
The police had registered a criminal case against Markaz administration and members of Tablighi Jamaat including foreigners. They were first put under months long quarantine and then detained as cases were registered against them in a number of states for allegedly violating passport rules.
Last week the central government told the Delhi High Court that 50 people chosen by the Waqf Board can be allowed to attend Shab-e-Barat gathering at the Markaz under the supervision of the local police station.
The worshipers wished that more people were allowed to attend the gathering like other places of worships
“It is good that it has been opened but more people should have been allowed. We are happy to obey rules but there should be stricter implementation in gatherings across India during elections, where social distancing is being ignored,” an unnamed Tablighi Jamaat member was quoted by Indian Express as saying.
The Tablighi members also expressed their displeasure at the way they were subjected to the demonetisation campaign last year after the Markaz fiasco. They were labelled as ‘corona bombs’ by sections of the media who bayed for their blood. It triggered a renewed wave of hate crimes in the form of social boycotts and mob violence against Muslim on streets amidst the Covid lockdown.
According to reports, as Tablighi members entered the building , the police ordered the closure of the market around Markaz at 8 PM citing rising cases of coronavirus.
The reports added that the gathering inside the building strictly followed the government set protocol while they offered the night prayers.
The Waqf board has urged the court to allow entry of more people in Markaz with the onset of Ramadan starting from mid-April.
Meanwhile, the government has issued new guidelines amidst rising coronavirus cases in the country. According to the guidelines issued last week by Delhi Disaster Management, there will be ban on large gatherings ahead of festivals.