A file photo of Tablighi Jamaat members at Nizamuddin
A file photo of Tablighi Jamaat members at Nizamuddin

Twitter was abuzz with mixed reactions about the Indian Express report quoting the Delhi police saying that the Tablighi Jamaat audio clip where its Nizamuddin Markaz chief asked people to not follow social distancing was doctored.

The Delhi police meanwhile has sent the audio clip to the forensic lab to get some more clarity.

People on Twitter, however, took it upon themselves to become judge, jury and executioner. While some continued their diatribe against the Central Government’s Islamophobic nature, others ranted about the fact that the media had ‘tunnel vision’ and ‘malice’.

Here are some of the tweets

In early April, an undated audio clip emerged, purportedly of Tablighi Jamaat chief Maulana Saad Khandhlawi encouraging people to gather in mosques.

"If you think you will die if you assemble in a masjid, let me tell you, there is no better place to die," he had said at the time. Lamenting the fact that people "can't even pray", he had added that "they" wanted people to stop praying so that it wouldn't add to their difficulties.

"We will only accept that doctor's advice who follows the path of Allah and fears the almighty," he declared. However, even such a doctor would be ignored if he gave them similar advice, he had declared.

Maulana Saad Khandhlawi later went into self quarantine. He recently took to social media in the form of an YouTube audio clip to urge everyone to quarantine themselves and get themselves cleared medically. In a new video he asks followers to listen to officials and self quarantine themselves. Not only that, he now appears to believe that staying at home is the "only way to calm God's wrath".

Notably, the Tablighi hosted an event in the first half of March, just around the time the novel coronavirus COVID-19 began infecting India. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Tablighi Jamaat conference may have affected over 9000 people. Several thousand people are now in quarantine across different states, as the number in India touches the 60,000 mark.

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