Nizamuddin Dargah to remain shut till 30 June fearing Markaz-like controversy

Religious places in Delhi opened on Monday, as per the guidelines of the government, but Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah remained shut till 30 June, fearing a Tablighi Jamaat-like controversy. The dargah committee will meet soon to discuss the opening of the shrine in July. “As per the government guidelines, we are permitted to open. The crowd might show up in the dargah and it would be difficult for us to manage as the annual ‘Urs’ festival is being celebrated. We do not want to violate any social distancing norms,” said Salmi Nizami, member of dargah committee.

Another member of the community said that they were also concerned about another Markaz-like controversy and did not want any such thing to happen. He added that such events would lead to unnecessary demonising of their community.

Due to the rise in the number of coronavirus patients in Delhi, the shrine has decided to conduct prayers only by inner circle members of the committee. However, Markaz will remain shut for now. The entire dargah is being sanitised from inside and outside. The dargah committee will come up with a plan to ensure social distancing norms and follow government guidelines before opening the shrine in July.

The area was sealed for more than two months after the gathering of hundreds of Tablighi Jamaat members in the Markaz that led to a spike in corona cases not just in the area but across the country. The Nizamuddin Basti was unsealed on 7 June as no case was registered in the last one month in this area. The shrine is in close vicinity to Markaz which is the head office of the Tablighi Jamaat.

 Around 12-22 March, more than 1,000 people from different countries had gathered here for an international convention of the Jamaat. A large number of people who had gathered here tested corona positive and the area became a Covid hotspot. The incident had created a huge uproar in the country.

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