Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath on Tuesday directed officials to house the arrested members of the Muslim religious sect who had gathered in Nizamuddin in March amid the coronavirus pandemic in temporary jails if they are suspected of being carriers of the virus, PTI reported.
“In view of the arrests of Tablighi Jamaat members and others for security reasons amid the coronavirus-led lockdown, the chief minister has instructed to keep them in temporary jail and not in regular ones,” said Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Awasthi in a statement. “As many as twenty-three temporary jails have been set up in the state, and testing of inmates is being done.”
So far, UP has reported around 1,300 cases of COVID-19, as India nears 20,000 mark.
Awasthi added that Adityanath has directed officials to ensure essential items are supplied without any interruptions during the holy month of Ramzan. Instructions have been sent to divisional commissioners, district magistrates and superintendents of police of all districts, and the police commissioners of Lucknow and Gautam Buddh Nagar.
The state administration will make arrangements, he added, to bring home the body of any person who dies of coronavirus outside the state.
In Allahabad, a university professor and 29 others were arrested, PTI had reported on Tuesday. This included sixteen foreign Tablighi Jamaat members. The professor, Mohammed Shahid, was arrested for allegedly sheltering Indonesians in a mosque in the city. One of the Indonesians had undergone treatment for COVID-19 at a hospital in Kotwa Bani, Allahabad, said Superintendent of Police Brijesh Kumar Shrivastava.
On 5 April, the health ministry said the religious gathering had pushed up the doubling rate of cases in India to 4.1 days from the estimated 7.4 days.
Over 25,000 Tablighi Jamaat members and their contacts were quarantined in the country after the Centre and the states launched a massive operation to trace them.