Mosque leaders urge ‘hiding’ Markaz visitors to follow protocol

GUWAHATI: A day after the Assam government warned the “hiding”  Markaz attendees from Assam of police action if they did not come out and reveal their travel history, the Masjid Committee, comprising leaders of several mosque committees here, appealed to them to voluntarily inform the authorities and adhere to the protocol.

Addressing reporters here on Sunday evening, the committee members urged the Tablighi Jamaat participants from the state to immediately contact the local administration through the  helplines and get themselves quarantined and tested.

Till Sunday evening, Assam has registered 26 COVID-19 positive cases, of which 25 of them are connected to the religious congregation at Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi last month.

It may be mentioned that state health and family welfare minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma had met members of the Masjid Committee on Saturday, seeking their cooperation to trace the remaining Markaz visitors and the persons whom they have been in contact with since their return to the state last month.

“We appeal to those Markaz attendees who are still hiding to voluntarily come out and intimate the authorities or the 104 helpline for quarantine procedures and treatment. No legal proceeding would be carried out if they voluntarily come out. Besides, the state government has made all arrangements for those who are to be placed under quarantine,” a committee member said.

He however warned that the committee members would have no role if the Markaz attendees choose to remain in hiding and that they would be liable for police action.

The Masjid Committee members categorically said that the committee was not associated with the Tablighi Jamaat and that no such Markaz visitor has been allowed in their respective mosques since their return to the state.

“We are strictly adhering to the lock down and social distancing norms amid this critical phase when COVID-19 has taken a serious turn. Not more than two or three members are performing namaz at the mosques and since this is a state of emergency, people are performing namaz inside their homes,” he said.

The committee members lauded the role played by the state health authorities and the administration in handling the situation.

“The samples of 812 Markaz attendees and their contacts have been tested. So far 25 of them who are connected to the religious congregation have been found positive for COVID-19, the latest being a retired BSF jawan, Sajibur Rahman, 57, from Ranighat, Silchar,” state health and family welfare minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma, told reporters on Sunday.

 

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