Asserting that the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Nizamuddin area has caused a "big damage" to the government's efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Commission for Minorities on Wednesday asked states to ensure strict compliance of the lockdown by madrasas and other religious places.
In a letter to chief secretaries of states and union territories, NCM chief Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi said the Nizamuddin incident was a "serious violation" of the lockdown, and has put the lives of fellow citizens at risk.
"Strict action should be taken against the violators. Local religious leaders may also be roped in to make the people aware about the guidelines of the lockdown and prevent any gathering in such places," he said.
India registered 386 new cases of COVID-19 in last 24 hours, taking the tally to 1,637 in the country, the government said on Wednesday, and linked the sharp increase in number of cases to the Tablighi meet since early March at Nizamuddin which has become the new epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country -- from Kashmir to Tamil Nadu.
The Nizamuddin incident has caused a "big damage" to the efforts of the government to contain the virus, Rizvi said.
The NCM chief also appealed to all those who attended the congregation at Nizamuddin to come forward and get tested for coronavirus.
The government has imposed a 21-day nationwide lockdown since March 25 to contain the spread of the virus, which has claimed over 42,000 lives globally and infected more than 8.7 lakh people across 183 countries.
Noting that Friday prayers and other religious congregations have already been stopped in all the religious places in the country, Rizvi said the step was appreciable.