COVID-19: Three Public Service Commission staffers shunted over Tablighi poser

The three employees who worked in the editorial section (Current Affairs) will be moved to other sections and a department-level probe held against them.

Published: 12th May 2020 03:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th May 2020 03:39 AM   |  A+A-

A file picture of 30 COVID-19 patients, who attended Tablighi Jamaat meeting in Delhi in March, being discharged after recovery.

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Public Service Commission has decided to transfer three of its editorial staff members responsible for generating the content of its bulletin after a controversy erupted over the inclusion of a pointer that drew a connection between COVID-19 spread in the country and Tablighi Jamaat. 

The three employees who worked in the editorial section (Current Affairs) will be moved to other sections and a department-level probe held against them. The content that kicked up the controversy appeared in the current affairs section of the fortnightly bulletin published on April 15.

The current affairs section of the PSC bulletin is a compilation of all major happenings during the past two weeks. Pointer number 19 of the bulletin said the Tablighi Jamaat meeting that was responsible for infecting several citizens of the country was held in Nizamuddin (New Delhi). It caused a flutter as several student groups and Muslim organizations alleged that the PSC bulletin was reinforcing the communal views.

The decision to move the staff out of the editorial wing was taken during a special PSC meeting held on Monday. It was also decided to withdraw the particular bulletin from its website. Meanwhile, PSC chairman M K Sakeer said there was nothing wrong in the pointer and that was prepared on the basis of media reports in the first week of April.  

“The Current Affairs section content is prepared by perusing the media reports. The bulletin issued on April 15 dealt with the happenings from March 25 to April 5. During that time, the Tablighi Jamaat meeting were widely discussed. The communalisation of the incident began much later. If this pointer was included in our May edition, then it could have been termed as a serious mistake,” he said. However, he justified the move to shift the staff saying that “it was done to prevent any more toxic interpretation of the incident”. 

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