With the Centre singling out the Tablighi Jamaat conclave for the surge in the number of COVID-19 positive cases, Muslim Satyashodhak Mandal (MSM) a reformist outfit has urged the Islamic organisation to issue a public apology for its insensitive behaviour, which is causing dissatisfaction in the minority community as well.
Shamsuddin Tamboli, president, MSM, told The Hindu that Jamaats irresponsible behaviour was playing into the hands of those intent on aggravating social tensions across the country. He also said that Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray remarks that certain Jamaat members, who had reportedly misbehaved with women medical staff during quarantine and were allegedly engaged in a conspiracy, ought to be shot, had created insecurity and fear among minority community members.
There is a perception in the country that the virus is being spread by the members who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat conclave. Jamaats insensitive behaviour is not only helping to strengthen this perception, but also putting other community members at risk. This has invariably led to the Muslim community being tarred with the same brush, as evinced by some virulent posts on social media, he said.
MSM, which was founded by the late social thinker and writer, Hamid Dalwai, has had a history of friction with radical movements like Tablighi Jamaat.
Fortunately, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has warned of strict action against those circulating virulent posts while prompt action on part of the Home Minister and the police have led to some miscreants being booked. But we demand that Jamaat come forward and issue a public apology for its irresponsible behaviour, he said. With Ramzan barely a fortnight away, Mr. Tamboli urged Muslim community members to reassess congregational prayers and holy month gatherings, and cooperate with the police and district authorities by adhering to rules and help check the spread of the contagion.
He also appealed to Muslims to follow the lockdown orders and stay indoors during the upcoming Shab-e-Barat holiday (on April 9) and desist from visiting graveyards or offering collective prayers by gathering in mosques.
At least 182 people from the Pune division, including more than 130 in Pune district, had either attended or were present on the premises during the fortnight-long event hosted by Tablighi Jamaat in Delhis Nizamuddin (West) earlier this month, said authorities on Wednesday. Four from Pune district, who had attended the event, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Till now, 106 of the 182 people in the division comprising Pune, Sangli, Satara, Kolhapur, and Solapur districts have been successfully tracked, while 94 of the 106 have already been placed in quarantine facilities.