New Delhi: Maulana Saad Kandhalvi, the chief of the Islamic group Tablighi Jamaat that organised a religious congregation in Delhi last month setting off India’s biggest cluster of coronavirus cases, has been charged with money laundering by the Enforcement Directorate.
The police earlier on Thursday 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 Tablighi Jamaat and its officebearers over the last few days and has obtained various documents from banks and financial intelligence gathering agencies, news agency PTI reported.
Certain donations received by the organisation from foreign and domestic sources are also under the scanner of the agency, officials said.
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
The police had sealed the Markaz of the Tablighi 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 Kandhalvi for violating a ban on big gatherings.