UP court grants bail to two Tablighi Jamaat members who hid in a mosque after Delhi meet

Two Tablighi Jamaat members, accused of hiding in a mosque in Uttar Pradesh’s Pryagraj from authorities and also of spreading the Covid-19 infection, have been granted bail by a local court on Friday.

Additional district judge Veerbhadra Singh allowed the bail applications of Ashraf from Kerala and Shahzan Ali from West Bengal after hearing their counsel.

A crackdown on Tablighi Jamaat members, who attended a mass religious gathering in Delhi earlier this year despite restrictions in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus, was carried out across the state and elsewhere in the country in March and April. Many of the attendees, who fanned out to different states, were found to be infected with the virus.

Earlier, on June 2, the local court here granted bail to Prof Mohammed Shahid, a suspended faculty member of the Allahabad University, and eight other Tablighi Jamaat members who are accused in the case.

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Prof Shahid was arrested on April 21 on the charge of arranging a shelter for foreign and Indian Tablighi Jamaat members in the city and for not informing the police about their presence.

Shahid was a professor in the department of political science of Allahabad University. He had attended the Tablighi Jamaat meet in New Delhi along with many of the foreign members of the religious sect and had allegedly not disclosed this information to the police.

A first information report (FIR) was registered against Shahid and several others on April 1 under the Epidemic Diseases Act at Shivkuti police station of Prayagraj and he was arrested on April 21. Later, the university administration suspended him.

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