Associates of Markaz chief grilled by ED, Maulana Saad likely to be summoned soon

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The Enforcement Directorate has recorded statements of associates of Tablighi Jamaat Markaz chief Maulana Saad in connection with the money laundering case lodged against him. The financial probe agency has grilled at least four close associates of Maulana Saad under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) who also holds an official position in Markaz.

India Today TV has learnt that the associates were questioned in regards to the funds received by the Markaz, recent transactions, foreign fundings, the functioning of an organisation and donations it received in the last few years.

“Statements of employees and his close associates are being recorded to understand the financial structure, flow of funding and transactions. At a later stage, based on available evidence, Mohammad Saad will be summoned to record his statement,” said a senior government officer.

Sources close to Maulana Saad have told India Today TV he has tested negative for Covid-19 and a report has been submitted before the Crime Branch.

The final call on whether Maulana Saad should be arrested or not will be taken only after his questioning, ED sources said.

It is alleged that Maulana Saad disregarded government guidelines that were issued in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak. Despite police warnings, he allegedly allowed a religious congregation to be organised at Nizamuddin Markaz in March.

Thousands of people from across the country and hundreds of foreigners were a part of the congregation, which became the single-largest cluster of Covid-19 cases in India.

According to the Union Home Ministry, over 4,200 positive Covid-19 cases have links to people who attended the Nizamuddin Markaz event.

Over 40,000 people who came in contact with those who attended have been quarantined across the country.

On the other hand, a representative of the Markaz refuted allegations that Maulana Saad is absconding and informed media that if police ask him to appear for questioning, the chief will be available.

The Delhi Police Crime Branch had on March 31 lodged an FIR against seven people, including the cleric, on a complaint by the Station House Officer of Nizamuddin police station for holding the congregation in alleged violation of the orders against large gatherings to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Later, the Indian Penal Code Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) was added to the FIR.

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About the author: Sohom Das
Founder of Tuccho.

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