New Delhi, Apr17: Tablighi Jamaat (TJ) chief Maulana Saad Kandhalvi and others have been booked by the Enforcement Directorate for money laundering under PMLA, officials said on Thursday.
The federal financial probe agency move comes after the registration of FIR by the Delhi Police's Crime Branch on March 31 wherein the DP's Crime Branch had lodged an FIR against seven people, including the Maulana, on a complaint by Nizamuddin Police Station Station House Officer (SHO) for holding a congregation of Tablighi Jamaat followers in alleged violation of the orders against large gatherings to contain the spread of coronavirus.
The officials in ED said that the probe agency has worked on the finances and transactions of the Tablighi Jamaat and its office bearers over the last few days and has obtained various documents from banks and financial intelligence gathering agencies. The agency is to issue summons to Kandhalvi soon for questioning, the officials said, adding that he is considered to be in self quarantine. They also said the ED is also looking at the opinion of medical experts about Kandhalvi's claim of self quarantine in the wake of COVID-19 exposure. Kandhalvi had organised the religious gathering at Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi in March violating the social distancing protocol imposed by the Centre to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
The ED is also looking at the personal finances of Kandhalvi and some other office bearers and associates of the Tablighi Jamaat, the official said, adding that certain donations received by the Jamaat from foreign and domestic sources are also under the scanner of the agency. In an audio message released sometime back, TJ chief had said he was exercising self quarantine after several hundreds who visited the congregation at Nizamuddin Markaz tested positive for COVID19. (UNI)