Tablighi chief Maulana Saad booked under PMLA
NEW DELHI : Tablighi Jamat chief Maulana Saad has been booked by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for money laundering under PMLA.
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 police had initially filed a case against Maulana Saad Kandhalvi for violating a ban on big gatherings. The cleric was supposed to join the investigation on Monday at the end of his quarantine period.
“Delhi police had filed a first information report earlier against the Tablighi chief, now section 304 has been added,” an officer said, referring to culpable homicide in the penal code, which carries a maximum punishment of a 10-year prison term.
According to sources the Markaz trust has been scrutinized due to a huge amount of money allegedly transferred ahead into it of the Markaz event in Delhi, via Hawala transactions. Apart from the ED, the Income Tax is looking into possible tax evasion by trustees including Saad, channeling of funds for personal gains, report sources.
The Health Ministry has revealed that over 30% of the total COVID-19 cases in India were related to the Markaz. Several states like Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Assam, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh have cases majorly due to attendees of the event and the people they came in contact with.
A spokesman for the Tablighi Jamaat group, Mujeeb-ur Rehman, declined to comment saying they had not confirmed reports about the new charges.The Tablighi is one of the world’s biggest Sunni Muslim proselytising organisations with followers in more than 80 countries.
(With Agency Inputs ).