Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become one of the deadliest diseases in the world. While the world contemplated over how to fight this epic pandemic, India declared a 21 day lockdown across the country. The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, on March 25, announced a 21 day nationwide lockdown till April 14. The citizens respected PM Modi’s decision and locked them up inside their residence for 21 days.
The citizens showed their unity and solidarity to set an example of togetherness to fight the current situation by following all the norms suggested by the government during the lockdown period. People, however, moved out for buying essential commodities and during emergency situations. The police took charge to penalize and enforce the norms of the lockdown declared across the nation.
Things seemed as controlled and regulated as planned by the government during the initial few days of lockdown. Then came the news which shook the nation completely. A Muslim religious group, Tablighi Jamaat, organized a congregation in the Markaz of Nizamuddin West of Delhi, without informing the state or central government, reported media. As per reports, the Muslim orthodox organisation organised congregation throughout March till March 21, even though the Delhi government had prohibited any conferences, seminars or any religious gathering of beyond 200.
The reports reveal that over 2000 religious groups attended the congregation which included international ‘tourists’ which landed in India on a tourist visa. This is allegedly a infringement of the tourist visa norms and the government got strict after the news broke. The people who attended the congregation also moved to other parts of the nation which has substantially increased the number of confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 across the country. The states which are widely affected by this movement include Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Karnataka, Jammu and Kashmir and Assam.
The sudden surge in the number of confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 was linked to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation. The most shocking news about Tablighi Jamaat congregation is the inflammatory and irresponsible speech given by the organisation’s chief, Muhammad Saad Kandhlawi.
Mohammad Saad had, allegedly, said, “If you think you will die if you assemble in a masjid, let me tell you, there is no better place to die.”
The Tablighi Jamaat Congregation has, as per Health Ministry, become a key reason for a steep rise in the COVID-19 confirmed cases and death rate due to COVID-19. According to the latest report by the Health Ministry of India, 647 COVID-19 positive cases have been found in the last two days, are linked to the event of Tablighi Jamaat and also 12 deaths reported were also a result of the congregation.
There are 14 States/UTs where the COVID-19 cases are reported which are linked to the contentious Tablighi Jamaat congregation. The authorities are actively searching for people who attended the event in Delhi and are hiding from being nabbed for the quarantine process. The Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Jai Ram Thakur, on Sunday, warned the members of the Tablighi Jamaat who attended the congregation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin Markaz and are hiding away from the check-up.
The chief minister alleged that the members of the Tablighi Jamaat are not cooperating with the authorities. He gave an ultimatum to the Jamaatis to come forward for the medical checkup by 5pm on Sunday, otherwise stringent action will be initiated against them.
Several reports of Jamaatis misbehaving with the medical practitioners who are treating them, have also surfaced in the news. The Jamaatis are reportedly spitting on medical and hospital staff who are treating them. A few reports also claimed that Jamaatis are roaming nude before the nurses to avoid treatment. The chief of the Muslim organisation, Muhammad Saad Kandhlawi, is on a run from the police force and has sent a message anonymously of being in a self quarantine.
In the intervening period of time, the Supreme Court has said that “fear” and “panic” are becoming a bigger threat than the pandemic itself. Of the current figure of 4067 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in India, as on 4:36 pm on Monday, April 7, 1445 cases are linked to Tablighi Jamaat. This amounts to nearly 36 percent of the total positive confirmed cases of COVID-19 in India, which is scaring for the nation.