NEW DELHI — While several Hindu groups have accused the Tablighi Jamaat of turning New Delhi into a hotbed of Coronavirus infection, threatening to snowball the discussions into a Hindu-Muslim war of words, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has termed the Tablighi Jamaat as a factory of the novel coronavirus.
VHP also demanded that Muslims “should come forward and close with immediate effect all the mosques in India that are still open.”
In a joint statement, VHP President V.S. Kokje, VHP International Working President Alok Kumar and General Secretary Milind Parande, said that instead of bringing people out of masjids, markaz and madrassas, the centre and the state governments should isolate and quarantine them there only to prevent the spread of the virus, reports IANS.
The VHP said that the Tablighi Jamaat meet in Delhi could potentially foil the very objective of the nationwide lockdown, announced with the purpose of checking the spread of coronavirus.
Despite repeated clarification of Tablighi Jamaat Markaz that the crowding inside the building happened under “compelling circumstances.” The “stranded visitors” who had attended the conference had to be accommodated because of a lack of transport after a 21-day lockdown was announced across India on March 24, Hindu groups have demanded the arrest and punishment of organizers of the mid-March conference in the Nizamuddin area.
The VHP also prescribed cremation for those who died due to COVID-19 without taking their religion into consideration. They said that the possibility of the spread of new Coronavirus increases manifold if the body of a person who has died due to COVID-19 is buried.
The March 13-15 conference reportedly had up to 8,000 participants from all over India. Thousands had traveled back to their homes, authorities fear the conference participants and those who came in contact with them are potential carriers of coronavirus. Their free movement in society could cause infection to millions.
However, religious leaders across India have expressed dismay about police inaction and the irresponsible behavior of the Muslim group despite warnings about the viral pandemic, reports UCA News.
Christian leader A.C. Michael sought to downplay the “characteristic anti-Muslim angle” on the issue and said: “Police, empowered with special powers, have failed in their responsibility. I would not like to blame a religion for a human error.”
He added: “Sadly, at the moment we have people in power who like to show minorities, especially Muslims, in a bad light. Given a chance, they will not waste time to declare them terrorists.”
Michael was apparently referring to Hindu groups that support the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. These groups aim to make India a nation of Hindus, ignoring the interests and rights of other religious groups such as Muslims and Christians.
Muslim leader Muhammad Arif, chairman of the Center for Harmony and Peace based in Varanasi town in Uttar Pradesh, said the Indian public and politicians are generally “callous” about public safety.
“BJP supporters led riots in Delhi in February despite the virus warning. When opposition leaders were warning about the danger of an impending pandemic, the central government was mocking them,” he said.
(With inputs from ucanews)