Madras High Court Moved for Transportation of Tamil Nadu Muslims from Delhi Quarantine Centre
NEW DELHI/CHENNAI, APRIL 29— A writ petition has been filed in the Madras High Court seeking directions for the central and Tamil Nadu governments to ensure transit of Tamil Nadu Muslims who are kept in a quarantine centre in Delhi even after serving the mandatory period and having been found negative for Coronavirus.
One Umar Farook filed the petition in the High Court, through lawyer A Raja Mohamed, and sought directions for the Tamil Nadu government “to interfere in the matter of stranded Tamil Nadu Muslims who are quarantined at Sultanpuri quarantine centre in Delhi.”
“Though all of them were found negative for Covid-19, they were quarantined and treated very badly without food and medicine which resulted in the death of two persons for lack of food and medicine,” the petitioner charged.
It is believed that around 750 people, mostly those who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi, are kept in the Sultanpuri quarantine centre. Many of them are from Tamil Nadu. While many of them reported negative in Covid-19 tests since the day one, many others were found positive and treated in hospitals in Delhi and have been cured. In the last few days, several of them have also donated their blood plasma.
“It is most humbly prayed that this Hon’ble Court may be pleased to direct the Respondents to immediately transit the Tamil Nadu natives who are stranded in Delhi due to lockdown and have tested negative for Corona and to be provided with basic needs like food, medicine, etc, and thus render justice,” the petitioner prayed.
He has made both Tamil Nadu and central governments as respondents in his petition.
If Tamil Nadu Govt. Doesn’t Bear Cost of Transportation, Community Will: Petitioner
A bench of Justices Sathyanarayana and Justices Nirmal Kumar heard the petition on Wednesday and asked the petitioner who will bear the cost of transportation of those people. Appearing on behalf of the petitioner, Senior Advocate Ajmal Khan said the Tamil Nadu state government should bear the cost in this case as it did for the transportation of state pilgrims from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.
“The State Government has a moral obligation for transportation,” said the lawyer and also mentioned that 127 persons have been transported from Varanasi through buses. “Therefore, similar benefits to be extended to Tamil Nadu persons stranded in Delhi,” he said but added that “if the state government is not ready to discharge their moral duty then the community will bear the cost.”
The High Court bench has directed the petitioner to file an additional affidavit explaining how and who to bear the cost for transportation and fixed May 4 as next date of hearing.
On March 30-31, over 2,000 people were evacuated from Tablighi Jamaat’s Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi and were taken to hospitals or quarantine centres and hundreds of them were later found to be infected with Coronavirus. Most of them are believed to have been cured and are kept at different quarantine centres in Delhi.
Last week, the Delhi Minorities Commission had also raised this issue in a letter to Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain.
“People brought to quarantine camps from Tabligh Markaz in Hazrat Nizamuddin will be completing 28 days on Monday, 27 April 2020, which is twice the mandatory period for Covid-19 suspects’ quarantine as per US and WHO guidelines. This means that these people are being unnecessarily kept in detention when 14 days is the longest period for the appearance of Coronavirus symptoms in an infected person. People in other quarantine centres have been allowed to go home after 14 days if they tested negative,” minority commission Chairman Dr. Zafarul-Islam Khan and Member Kartar Singh Kochhar said in their joint letter on April 27.