NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to ensure that people do not instigate the public on issues that could lead to a law and order problem for enforcement agencies. The remarks came while it was hearing a batch of petitions, urging the top court to prevent communalisation of the Nizamuddin Markaz issue by certain sections of print and electronic media. The Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind had moved the SC in April for directions to the government and media not to demonise the entire Muslim community over the spread of COVID-19 due to Nizamuddin Markaz congregation of Tablighi Jamat.
“Don’t let people instigate, these are things that later become a law and order problem,” the CJI directed while hearing the petitions. Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for the petitioner, said it was a grave case and seriously impacted the rights of the minority.
The court gave two weeks time to the Centre and the Press Council of India (PCI) to reply on the actions taken against media houses for violating the Cable Television Networks Act, 1995 if any. The Nizamuddin Markaz has been at the centre of a controversy after a congregation it held in March resulted in a sharp spike in coronavirus infections.
Various TV channels and newspapers were also blamed for presenting the information relating to the incident in a “twisted manner”, inciting hatred against the entire Muslim community at large.The petition stated that television news channels and social media used phrases such as “Corona Jihad” and “Corona Terrorism” to describe the Nizamuddin Markaz incident and sought a direction to the Centre to stop communalising the incident and take action against those disseminating fake news on the issue.
The Delhi police has filed before a court here 35 different chargesheets against 376 foreign nationals from 34 countries attending Markaz at Nizamuddin by violating visa conditions, indulging in missionary activities illegally and violating government guidelines, issued in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak in the country. The police had filed 20 chargesheets against 82 foreigners from 20 countries on Tuesday and 15 on Wednesday against 294.