Raj Thackeray said that first of all, all the medical help being extended to the Jamaatis must be stopped. (Photo Credit: File Photo)
Amid the coronavirus pandemic and the surge of COVID-19 cases linked to Nizamuddin Markaz, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thakeray on Saturday made an extremely incendiary statement that can further communalise the issue. During an interaction with media on Saturday, Thakeray said that he just doesn't understand the point of the Markaz attendees being treated on the government's expense. He said that first of all, all the medical help being extended to the Jamaatis must be stopped. He further said that such people, who think of religion more than the country 'should be shot dead.' Citing various media reports he said that 'these people were spitting on currency notes, on doctors', 'they were making lewd comments to the nurses...'. Giving his controversial suggestion, Thackeray said that these people should be filmed while being thrashed and should be posted on the social media so that people can take a lesson. he also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi must also speak on the issue of Tablighi Jamaat and inform the citizens about what's happening in the country. Attacking the PM for his '9pm-9 minute' call, Thacekary said that the nation wanted a ray of hope from him and is telling us to light diyas. (Coronavirus Outbreak Live Updates)
On the coronavirus lockdown, Thacekary said that it totally depends on the people. If the citizens don't follow the advisory, the government will be forced to extend the lockdown. On the role of police in the Markaz issue, Thackeray hailed the Maharashtra Police for stopping the Markaz event in the state. "I don't want to make it religious thing and this is not the time for the blame game, but extremist Muslim elements must be taught a lesson.' He also said that during the time of the elections, local clerics generally issue fatwas. 'Why are they quiet now?' These Maulanas and Maulvis must speak up now.
Meanwhile on Friday, eleven members of Tablighi Jamaat allegedly fled from a mosque in Shirur tehsil of Pune district after they were instructed to remain isolated there for possible exposure to novel coronavirus, police said. According to police, none of them had attended the religious congregation organised by the Tablighi Jamaat in Delhi's Nizamuddin area last month, which has emerged as a key source for the spread of COVID-19 in the country. They had been in Pune district since February 22, police said. "They are originally from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana. None of the 11 members had attended the Nizamuddin event, but they had been stamped 'home quarantine' on April 1 as a precautionary measure," a senior officer from Pune rural police said.
Taking a stern stand, the Union Home Ministry on Friday blacklisted 960 foreigners who were involved in Tablighi Jamaat activities despite being on a tourist visa. Their visas have also been cancelled and the Delhi Police and DGPs of all concerned states have been directed to legal action against them. These foreigners participated in the congregation violating their visa conditions. The Tablighi Jamaat activists who have been blacklisted include 9 British, 4 American, 6 Chinese, 3 French nationals, 379 Indonesians and 110 Bangladeshis. The action will be taken against them under the Foreigners Act and the Disaster Management Act. "The home ministry has blacklisted 960 foreigners and their Indian visas have also been cancelled for their involvement in Tablighi Jamaat activities while coming on tourist visas," the home minister's office tweeted in Hindi.
(With ageny inputs)