Gujarat Police Arrests Rumour-Mongers About Tablighi Jamaat, UP Police Denies Report of Misbehaviour of Tabligh Activists
Syed Ali Ahmed & Masihuzzama Ansari | India Tomorrow
NEW DELHI, APRIL 5—While Gujarat police have arrested as many as seven persons in connection with a hate campaign, calling people for social and economic boycott of the Muslims after Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi, the Uttar Pradesh police have rejected the media reports of misbehaviour of Tablighi Jamaat activists with staff members and others in hospitals and quarantine centres. A large number of people- all Muslims-connected with the Tablighi congregation in Delhi-are reported to have tested COVID-19 positive.
Gujarat Director General of Police Shivanand Jha told mediapersons that action was being taken against those spreading false information on WhatsApp and other social media platforms to harm social harmony.
Those who have been arrested include Ripen Singhav(27), Paras Vala( 39, a driver, Jayanti Giri (51), a businessman, Nirav Marwadi (30), Hareshsinh (42), Umakant Rathod ( 50) and Ratilal Patel (70).
Ahmedabad Police Commissioner Ashish Bhatia has warned that action will be taken against those who circulate rumours and false messages having the potential to disrupt social and communal harmony. He has sent circulars to all police stations in his jurisdiction to take immediate action in connection with hate messages, if any, being circulated against the Tablighi Jamaat congregation to prevent occurrence of any untoward incident.
The UP police that the reports in a section of media regarding Tablighi Jamaat members having misbehaved with staffers in quarantine centres and hospitals were only rumours and not based on facts.
After the reports appeared prominently in local newspapers in Saharanpur and Bijnor districts, the top police officials asked the local police to conduct investigation into the allegations against the Jamaat activists. The reports were also covered by some TV channels. The police said that during investigation, nothing concrete was found against the Tablighi activists. It said the media reports were only gossips.
Saharanpur Police said that information of misbehaviour against the Jamaat activists spread through media and social media were not true at all.
Announcing through its Social Media Cell, the Saharanpur police said, “It is to inform that police station in-charge of Rampur, Maniharan, was directed to conduct an inquiry into the reports that appeared in various newspapers, broadcast through TV channels and propagated through social media platforms that the quarantined Jamaat activists raised serious objections for not being served non-veg in meals and that they defecated in open. During inquiry, the reports were not found true. Therefore, the Saharanpur police reject and condemn these reports”.
Bijnor Police have denied the reports aired by Sudarshan TV saying that these incidents are not verified.
On its social media handle, Sudarshan TV wrote, “Tablighi Jamaat activists admitted to hospitals in Bijnor misbehaved with sanitation workers. They abused the workers and insulted them. The Bijnor Police discharged them after issuing warning.”
However, the Bijnor Police have denied these allegations.
on its official social media handle, Saharanpur Police condemned the reports against Tablighi Jamaat under a headline ‘Khabar Banam Sach’ (News vs Truth).
Talking to India Tomorrow, an eminent social worker, Mehdi Hasan Qasmi who is also director of the Deoband Islamic Studies said, “People including Jamaat activists and their contacts infected with coronavirus are quarantined at two places in Saharanpur and Bijnor. They are coordinating with the police and doctors in investigations. But today some newspapers tried to tarnish the image of a particular community by publishing baseless information.”
He said, “When newspapers like Amar Ujala, Hindustan and Patrika carried fake news stories in connection with the Jamaat activists, we met Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) of Saharanpur and informed him about these developments. The SSP directed the police station concerned for inquiry into the allegations that were found wrong”.
When on Twitter some people tried to know the authenticity of the police denial, Saharanpur police confirmed the official denial of allegations levelled against the Jamaat activists.
Since the stranded Jamaat activists in Markaz Tablighi Jamaat in Delhi have been kept in quarantine centres, media have circulated baseless reports of their alleged misbehaviour with staff members in quarantine centres and hospitals trying unsuccessfully to prove Markaz as epicentre of the coronavirus, Mr. Qasmi said.