Newspaper stands by story after Delhi Police denies saying Maualana Saad's tape was 'doctored'
Photo Credit: ANI

A day after, Delhi Police called the Indian Express report "totally baseless" and "factually incorrect", the leading daily has now issued a clarification. The report had stated Tablighi Jammat chief Maulana Saad's audio clip was 'doctored'.

In its Sunday edition, Indian Express issued a clarification which read: "The report is based on conversation with sources and officials aware of the probe against Maulana Saad. Before publication, calls were made to Special CP (Crime) Praveer Ranjan on Friday. Also, a message was sent to him seeking his comments on the key points made in the report. No response was received."

While calling the reports untrue, Delhi Police said: "The Indian Express report dated 9.5.20 with an article captioned: Tablighi FIR: Police probe indicates Saad audio clip was doctored - Written by Mahender Manral, is not only factually incorrect but seems to be based on wholly unverified sources and purely conjectural imagination," said Delhi Police.

"The claims made by the reporter regarding the investigation are totally baseless. The Delhi Police does not in any way stand by the story of the reporter, nor has he spoken to any official sources claimed in his report," they added.

The Indian Express on Saturday reported that according to initial investigations by the Delhi Police Crime Branch, in the audio clip, allegedly released by Tablighi Jammat chief Maulana Saad, he asks the Tablighi Jammat members to not follow social distancing norms amid the coronavirus pandemic. It further states that the clip may be "doctored" and "stitched together using several audio files".

Thousands of Tablighi Jamaat members were taken out of its Markaz (centre) in Nizamuddin, where they had gathered for a religious congregation. They were quarantined as the area had turned into a major hotspot after several members tested COVID-19 positive.

On March 31, the Delhi Police's Crime Branch had lodged an FIR against seven people, including Maulana Saad Kandhalvi, on a complaint by Station House Officer, Nizamuddin, for holding the congregation.

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