Daati Maharaj arrested for flouting Covid-19 lockdown norms
Self-styled preacher Daati Maharaj was arrested on Wednesday night for violating the lockdown rules by organising a religious ceremony at Shanidham temple in Asola in South Delhi on May 22, police said.
“Daati Maharaj was arrested in the case registered under Indian Penal Code’s Sections 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 34 (common intention), Section 54B of Disaster Management Act, and Section 3 of Epidemic Diseases Act at the Maidan Garhi police station on May 23. He has been released on bail,” said deputy commissioner of police (south) Atul Kumar Thakur.
Earlier in the day, the police claimed to have questioned Daati Maharaj in the case. Police officers privy to the probe said that they found a poster placed on the temple’s boundary wall, “urging people to come for the gathering on May 22.”
“The temple had been opened to the public despite government orders prohibiting religious gatherings,” a senior police official said.
Investigators said that at least 40 outsiders had attended the ceremony in contravention of the nationwide lockdown in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
Police had registered the case after videos and photographs of the religious gathering were circulated on social media platforms. Though HT could not confirm the authenticity of the video clips, DCP Thakur had confirmed that the visuals were of the self-styled preacher.