By M. Burhanuddin Qasmi
Delhi police and the governments are trying to use the presence of a few hundred people inside Tablighi headquarter at Hazrat Nizamuddin in Delhi as scapegoat for their utter failure to control law and order in Delhi’s Anand Vihar bus terminal and elsewhere in India which killed more than 20 people so far, without Corona Virus infection but due to mismanagement of the authorities concerned. Till date (31st March) the deadly virus has killed less than 40 people in India. But the unplanned lockdown killed 20 and caused unexplainable suffering of hunger and travelling to millions of people in the country.
I strongly support the lockdown, there was no way out other than this, I even wanted it a week before and I wrote about it too. However, it was to be planned and people must have been informed at least 72 hours before the complete lockdown was clamped over whole of India.
Delhi police and Delhi Govt. are fully responsible for Tablighi Markaz mess and all other mismanagement in Delhi. The lockdown announcement by Prime Minster Modi was too sudden, without adequate preparation and without enough time for travellers and out of home people to return to the places of their choice. Markaz Nizamuddin is the international headquarter of Tablighi Jamaat for one hundred years and on, where 2 to 3 thousand people including foreign nationals always keep camping for their scheduled meets and all – the nearby police station which is the next building to the Tablighi Markaz at Hazrat Nizamuddin, External Affairs Ministry and Home Ministry know it because people regularly visit from abroad on valid visas only.
Those responsible, from inside Markaz Nizamuddin communicated to the authority that there are people stagnant inside and they needed to be evacuated urgently but the Delhi police paid no heeds to their requests. They wrote to the police in 24, 25, 27 and 29th of March 2020 as the letters with me indicate. Aam Aadmi Party MLA from Okhla – Amanatullah Khan tweeted that he also informed and requested more than one police authorities on 23rd of March 2020 itself stating that there are 1000 plus people inside Tablighi Markaz and they needed to be assisted for evacuation but no positive action was initiated.
Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi CM, could seek information from his own MLA before allowing a go ahead for Delhi police to file an FIR against Tablighi Jamaat. Delhi police is allegedly biased and unprofessional as the world has seen during the recent Delhi pogrom against Muslims to undermine the successful protest against CAA, NRC and NPR.
In guise of fight against Corona, some media houses are spreading hates against Muslim – Mr Kejriwal should have a share on this too – because his Govt. is not initiating legal action against false propagation and hate mongering even when disaster act is enforced in the country. Some media houses from Delhi are wrongly dragging the town of Deoband as a cause of Corona spread-out and are claiming that 500 Corona positive cases are found in Deoband alone. Whereas, the fact is that in the entire Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh (UP) where Deoband town is situated, not even a single case of Corona positive is diagnosed till date (31st March) according to both police and health authorities.
Similarly, there are other places where hundred of people are still stagnant across India who are suffering because of this unplanned and too horrid lockdown. In UP, the CM himself gathered with hundreds of people for religious function when the lockdown was already imposed nationwide which was a gross violation of the Home Ministry Order as well as against the will of Prime Minister Modi which he explicitly stated in his speech in the evening of 23rd March 2020.
Therefore, witch-hunting of people in the Tablighi headquarter by certain media houses and police is uncalled for, and nothing but communalization of Indian atmosphere even in this tough time when we all need to stand together and help each other in the fight against outbreak of Corona Virus.
The AAP government in Delhi is utterly failing in law and order front. The nation was shamed during planned pogrom against Muslims, just recently, part of the blame goes to Kejriwal and his government because it failed to respond decisively and adequately when it was most needed. Similarly, in the Tablighi Markaz saga, the Delhi Govt. seems to be falling as prey for Delhi police.
Here, cases should be registered against all responsible including those police officers and administrative officers who failed to respond to the calls to assist and help send these people back home or at safer places from Nizamuddin Markaz and those who failed to manage crowds in various streets and bus terminals across Delhi NCR.
A crime must only be a crime without it’s religious, political or power affiliation. If anyone commits crime – be it a Tablighi Jamaat head, a police head or a CM of the state, simply book him or her and punish for the crimes they committed against the Nation.
However, a poor, a less powerful and a religion must not be trialed for no fault at all, just as scapegoat, to divert attention from actual failures and to plant communal seeds in common people’s mind.
May Allah save India, save the world and protect us all from corona virus as well as from communal virus!
The author is editor of Eastern Crescent, Mumbai