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Govt wants Rohingya Muslims in India tested after Tablighi Jamaat link emerges

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People suspected of coronavirus being transported to various hospitals after Tablighi Jamaat in Nizamuddin, Delhi | Photo: Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint
People suspected of coronavirus being transported to various hospitals after Tablighi Jamaat in Nizamuddin, Delhi | Photo: Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint


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New Delhi: The Ministry of Home Affairs has written to all states and union territories to test Rohingya Muslims in the country, after it was found that many of them attended Tablighi Jamaat events in Delhi and Haryana, ThePrint has learnt.

In the letter written to state chief secretaries, director generals of police and commissioners, the deputy secretary of the central government said there was a high possibility of Rohingyas being infected with Covid-19.

“It has been reported that Rohingya Muslims have attended Ijtemas and other religious congregations of Tablighi Jamaat and there is a possibility of their contracting Covid-19,” the letter said.

The letter stated that Rohingyas residing in camps in Hyderabad, Telangana, had attended the Tablighi Jamaat Ijtema in Haryana’s Mewat, and also visited the Nizamuddin Markaz in New Delhi. It also cited reports of Rohingya Muslims, who attended the Tabligh Jamaat event in Delhi, were living in Dera Bassi, Punjab, and Jammu area of Jammu and Kashmir.

States have maintained data on Rohingyas staying in several pockets as refugees.


Also read: How Tablighi Jamaat was born from Mewat’s ‘drinking Muslims who couldn’t even read namaz’


The letter also directs officials to trace and test Rohingya’s living in Shram Vihar, Shaheen Bagh, who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat event last month but did not return home after.

“Therefore Rohingya Muslims and their contacts need to be screened for COVID19 … Accordingly, necessary measures may be taken in this regard on priority,” the letter says.

The Tablighi Jamaat made headlines after a congregation it held last month resulted in the mass spread of the highly infectious Covid-19 disease. The congregation had thousands in attendance, including foreigners from South Asia, making the event the largest known vector for the novel coronavirus in the region.

In the national capital itself, over 1,080 of the 1,640 cases are related to it, according to the latest health bulletin by the Delhi government, which categorised the cases as ‘special operations’.

Across India, 1,023 of the total cases were linked to the Tablighi Jamaat as of April 5, according to the health ministry.


Also read: Delhi’s Nizamuddin — a bustling blend of history and spirituality, until Covid-19 struck


 

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Andhra doctor, suspended for alleging PPE shortage, now beaten by cops for ‘creating nuisance’

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A doctor with a stethoscope (Representative image) | Pixabay


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Bengaluru: A doctor with a government hospital in Andhra Pradesh, who was suspended for questioning the shortage of PPE kits, was admitted to a mental health facility Sunday, a day after he was allegedly manhandled by the police and arrested for creating nuisance in Visakhapatnam.

Dr Sudhakar Rao, a government civil surgeon, was beaten, his hands tied behind his back and dragged by police officers Sunday. During the incident, Sudhakar allegedly verbally abused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in an inebriated state. Videos of the incident have since been widely shared online.

“The police control room received a call about a person creating nuisance on Beach Road Hospital in Visakhapatnam. The Fourth Town police was rushed there and found that the person was the suspended doctor, Sudhakar.

“When the police tried to control him, he snatched the mobile phone of an officer and threw it away. He is suffering from mental disorder and he was drunk. He was sent for a medical examination,” Vishakapatnam Police Commissioner R.K. Meena told the media Sunday.

Sudhakar was admitted to a mental hospital Sunday after doctors at the King George Hospital in Vishakapatnam said he suffered from anxiety.

“Since the doctor is in anxiety and talking irrelevant things, I have referred him to a mental care hospital in Visakhapatnam,” said Dr Radha Rani, medical superintendent, King George Hospital.

A statement released by the hospital said: “Dr Sudhakar was brought to the KGH casualty ward at 6.30 pm. From the smell, it was found that he was in a drunk condition. Under the influence of alcohol, he did not cooperate with anybody there and kept abusing all. Still, his pulse, BP were checked. Pulse was 98, BP 140/100. Blood samples were sent to forensic lab to ascertain alcohol content in his blood.”


Also read: 6 toilets for 20 houses, inadequate testing: Why Mumbai’s Worli chawls are a Covid hotspot


‘Treatment towards Sudhakar was inhuman’

Sudhakar, who spent more than 10 years at the Narsipatnam Government Hospital in Andhra Pradesh, was suspended from his duties in March after he openly criticised the Reddy government for failing to provide PPE kits and N95 masks to doctors treating Covid-19 patients.

He had alleged that the state government was giving N95 masks and PPE kits meant for doctors to politicians and the police.

A video of Sudhakar criticising the government was also shared widely. In the clip, he can be heard saying: “We are putting our lives at risk here. We are asked to use the same mask for 15 days and a fresh mask will be provided only twice a month.”

Speaking to ThePrint, Dr P. Gangadhar Rao, member of the National COVID Committee of the Indian Medical Association, said the manner in which Sudhakar was manhandled by the police was “inhuman” and “violated” human rights.

“We strongly condemn the way he was taken into custody. He was not carrying a weapon, he was alone, the number of policemen outnumbered him. Why treat him like that? We also saw a video where a policeman beats him with a lathi,” said Dr Gangadhar.

He added that Rao was one of the most experienced anaesthetists the Andhra Pradesh government had.

“Our next step of action is to get Sudhakar to write an unconditional apology for having used filthy language, abusing the chief minister and the government. We will then take our appeal to the CM seeking that he be reinstated,” Gangadhar said.


Also read: Face shields, gowns, masks — the new attire for cabin crew post lockdown


 

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