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Rizwan Khan booked for housing women of Tablighi Jamaat, moves Delhi HC

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By Muslim Mirror Staff

New Delhi: Rizwan Khan has moved the Delhi High Court to challenge the FIR lodged against him for providing accommodation to women members of Tablighi Jamaat. He filed his petition alleging that the case against him was “unwarranted” and “devoid of any evidence”.

After the imposition of the lockdown on 24 March 2020, Rizwan had a place to stay for female Tablighi Jamaat devotees who had come to attend the Markaz event, which had taken place just before.

After the imposition of the nationwide lockdown, the Additional Commissioner of Police (Daryaganj) issued an order under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code on 24 March, prohibiting any religious, cultural, social, or political activity.

Just days later on 31 March, an FIR was registered against those Indian citizens who had organised the Markaz congregation at Nizamuddin in Delhi. Later on, the scope of this FIR was expanded to include more than 950 foreign nationals who had attended the Markaz event.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, all international flights were cancelled and travel activities halted. Therefore, foreign nationals who had come to attend the congregation were stranded and had to look for shelter.

While some men stayed at the masjid, the women had to be sent elsewhere, as their faith doesn’t allow them to be housed in a mosque. This is when Rizwan stepped forward to offer his house to six female foreign nationals who could not find any other accommodation.

Rizwan believes that he has been criminalised because of the communal narrative built around the Tablighi Jamaat event. Catchphrases such as the “virus trains” and “corona Jihad” used in the media led to the registration of these FIRs against him and 955 foreign nationals.

A bare perusal of the FIR registered against Rizwan nowhere mentions the reason for invoking such offences against him. It doesn’t mention any religious or political event taking place at his residence while invoking section 188 of IPC against him.

Rizwan believes that he has been criminalised because of the communal narrative built around the Tablighi Jamaat event. Catchphrases such as the “virus trains” and “corona Jihad” used in the media led to the registration of these FIRs against him and 955 foreign nationals.

Rizwan’s claim is further strengthened by the judgments given by courts across the country. To date, out of 20 FIRs registered against 2,765 Tablighi Jamaat foreign nationals in 11 states, not a single person has been convicted on merits.

The Quint on Tuesday reported that a total of 1,086 people related to Jamaat have been discharged by courts across the country.

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