Avoid 'Islamophobia fuelling' Nizamuddin updates from bulletins: Minority panel tells Delhi govt
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik thanks people of Odisha for support and cooperation in this crisis situation, says their discipline and sacrifice has helped the State in combating the threat
NEW DELHI: The Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC) on Thursday asked the Delhi government’s health department to stop mentioning Nizamuddin Markaz in its daily bulletins on coronavirus cases, stating that the “thoughtless classification was feeding into the Islamophobia agenda”.
In a letter to the secretary, Delhi Health Department, chairman of the panel Zafarul Islam Khan asked the department to drop any mention of “religious undertones” which can be exploited for political or communal purposes by “vested interests”.
The daily bulletins update the number of fresh coronavirus cases and deaths due to the epidemic including figures of those who were evacuated from Tablighi Jamat Markaz after they were stranded there due to lockdown.
According to the last updated bulletin on Wednesday, the total number of coronavirus cases in Delhi were 669 including 426 from the Markaz. “Such thoughtless classification is feeding into the Islamophobia agenda of the media and Hindutva forces and has been easily turned into a handle to attack Muslims across the country,” Khan alleged in his letter.
Khan’s letter comes a day after he issued notices to the Delhi Police Commissioner seeking action in cases of hate crimes against Muslims, following the incident at Nizamuddin, which has become the country’s largest hotspot for coronavirus.
Muslims are being “attacked” in various areas, calls are being made for their “social boycott”, and a boy was “lynched” in the northwest Delhi, Khan wrote
He also stated that the World Health Organisation(WHO) has taken cognisance of this phenomenon and its Emergency Programme Director Mike Ryan has said countries should not profile novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in terms of religion or any other criteria, stated the letter.
Khan also pointed out the statement of Union Health ministry which has said that despite all precautions, if anybody catches the infection, it is not their fault. The advisory has requested citizens to “never spread names or identity” of those affected or under quarantine in their locality on the social media, Khan mentioned in the letter.