Coronavirus: Over 200 people evacuated from Gurdwara Majnu Ka Tila over transmission fear

The move came a day after thousands were moved out of Nizamuddin Markaz, the Tablighi Jamaat headquarters in south Delhi

Published: 02nd April 2020 08:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd April 2020 08:45 AM   |  A+A-

A DTC bus with people stuck at the Gurudwara. (Photo | Shekhar Yadav, EPS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Over 200 people from Punjab staying at Gurdwara Majnu Ka Tila in north Delhi for five days were relocated to a shelter set up in a government school on Wednesday with the help of Delhi Police and district administration.

The shifting came close on the heels of the evacuation of more than 2,000 devout stranded at Markaz, the headquarters of Tablighi Jamaat (a preaching group) cum lodging facility in Nizamuddin Basti area of south Delhi.

Manjinder Singh Sirsa, president, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), said over 200 persons staying at the gurdwara were not pilgrims but travellers from Punjab and both governments —Punjab and Delhi — were duly informed about their presence.

“They have come to the place in hope to board a bus to return to Punjab but they couldn’t hence had taken shelter in the gurdwara. They are not pilgrims but travellers who came from Noida, Faridabad, and Gurugram on March 27. We have provided them food and shelter. They were being examined by doctors twice – morning and in the evening,” he said.

People staying in gurdwara were mainly Hindu families, 80 Sikhs and rest were Christians, said DSGMC president. Sirsa, also the national spokesperson of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), said despite repeated appeals to Punjab government, no help was extended to rescue the over 200 people. “People of all religions stayed at the gurdwara,” Sirsa reiterated in his appeal on Twitter.

“We had sent information to Punjab government. I have tweeted this to Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on very next day when they arrived. Finally, Delhi government and police came to the gurdwara today morning and occupants were quarantined in a nearby government school in Nehru Vihar,” he said.
However, a senior Delhi Police official, privy to the shifting operation, said the action came following a tip-off.

“The joint-operation with district magistrate was carried out following the initiative of Delhi Police. A team had come to know about 200 people staying at the gurdwara. They have now been quarantined at a school being used as shelter and food distribution centre,” said the official and refused to divulge more details.

According to Sirsa, people were accommodated in the gurdwara on March 27 and since then the committee has been appealing governments to help stranded travellers. “We sent information about them to governments on March 28 and 29. When they were removed today, we got a call from Punjab CM office to ensure helping them,” said Sirsa. 

He further said as Delhi government had requested DSGMC to arrange three-time meal for the evacuees, the committee would continue to provide food.  

India Matters


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