In the first direct attack by any home minister on the Centre -- especially Doval -- Deshmukh asked why the Union ministry should not be held responsible for the spurt in coronavirus cases after the Tablighi Jamaat meet held from March 13 to 15.
Targeting Doval, the state Home Minister wanted to know who despatched him to Nijamuddin at 2 am and was it the duty of the National Security Advisor or that of the Police Commissioner? He also wondered about the nature of the "secret" dialogue between Doval and the Jamaat leader Maulana Saad.
‘‘Why has not Doval or the Delhi Commissioner of Police made any statement in this regard,’’ he added. Deshmukh alleged that since that meeting, Maulana Saad has been absconding. ‘‘How did he abscond after the meeting,’’ he asked.
Deshmukh raised in all eight questions while accusing the Central government of giving the Jamaat the permission to hold the prayer meeting and charged it with having relations with the community. He said despite the Nizamuddin police station being located near the Markaz, yet the congregation was not stopped (in view of the COVID-19 threat).
“Isn’t the Union Home Ministry responsible for the gathering on such a large scale at the Markaz and subsequent spread of coronavirus to all other states?” he questioned. “Where did Maulana Saad abscond the next day after meeting Doval? Where is he (the Maulana) now?
Who is related to them (Jamaat members)?” Deshmukh asked. Charging the Centre with having relations with Tablighis, Deshmukh asked who will answer the questions he has raised. Deshmukh’s statement comes two days after his party boss Sharad Pawar on April 6 asked who gave permission for the religious congregation of Tablighi Jamaat at Nizamuddin, which has emerged as one of the major Covid-19 hotspots in the country.