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Kanpur principal claims ‘blackmail bid’ as viral video shows her calling Tablighis terrorists

Dr Aarti Lalchandani of GVSM Medical College, Kanpur, claims video was ‘tampered with’, but acknowledges she was upset about ‘misbehaviour’ by Jamaatis.

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Lucknow: The principal of a government-run medical college in Kanpur finds herself in a controversy after a viral video purportedly showed her referring to Tablighi Jamaat members as “terrorists”.

“These (Jamaatis) are terrorists. They are wasting our resources. The CM is getting them treated for their appeasement. They should be lodged behind bars,” Dr Aarti Lalchandani of GVSM Medical College is purported to have said, according to the video.

“Here, they keep misbehaving. We have been turned into their caretakers. They keep on doing drama throughout the night.” 

As the video, which went viral Sunday, triggered calls for action against her, Dr Lalchandani defended her rant and threatened to approach police against the journalist who allegedly recorded the video and used it to blackmail her. 

She said the video is 60 days old, and told ThePrint that she made the comments when some Jamaat members brought to the hospital “acted indecently”. Even so, she alleged the video had been “tampered with”. 

“It was shot during the first week of April, when the Jamaatis were admitted at the medical college for isolation,” she said over the phone. “At that time, many of them were acting indecently. Due to this, she said, she had “become extremely upset and merely expressed her anguish in the presence of some local journalists”.

“I made this comment on strictly ‘off-the-record’ basis. As I was talking to some local journalists, one of the scribes working for a local channel shot this video. It can be termed a sting operation… Later on, he started to blackmail me,” Lalchandani said. “For several days, he kept saying that he had a video of mine and if I do not give him some work related to the medical college, it will be made viral. I did not listen to this threat and hence the video was released.”

Lalchandani said she will approach police with an official complaint against the journalist, Ramji Sharma, on the charges of blackmailing. 

She added that she “respects all religions and does not hold any hatred towards any particular sect”. “That day, I was simply feeling hurt due to the (indecent) behaviour of the Jamaatis.”

Also Read: How Tablighi Jamaat was born from Mewat’s ‘drinking Muslims who couldn’t even read namaz’

Raised the ‘misbehaviour’ in April too

The Tablighi Jamaat, a Sunni missionary organisation based in Delhi, came under the lens late March when it was accused of violating social-distancing norms to host an event at its Nizamuddin headquarters somewhere around the middle of the month.

With hundreds packed into the building, many members are believed to have contracted the virus.

Several members of the organisation subsequently left the headquarters for their hometowns, and they were linked to a surge in infections around India. On 18 April, the health ministry said as many as 30 per cent of India’s Covid cases were linked to the organisation.

Dr Lalchandani had raised the issue of the Jamaatis’ alleged misbehaviour in April as well. In a conversation with a TV channel on 4 April, she had alleged that the Jamaatis “are spitting here and there, do not take prescribed medicines and do not believe” the coronavirus pandemic. 

Her viral rant has led to calls for action against her. Former Kanpur MP and veteran CPI(M) leader Subhashini Ali has described her language as “unconstitutional as well as objectionable”. 

“She is terming members of a minority community, who were brought to the hospital for treatment, as terrorists. Some action must be taken against her,” she added.

However, Uttar Pradesh director general (medical education) K.K. Gupta said he had not received any complaint as of yet. 

“It is an issue best tackled at the administrative level and any action will be taken by them only. It is to be mentioned that, so far, no action has been taken by the Yogi Adityanath government in this case,” he added. 

Also Read: RSS says Tablighi Jamaat conduct not reflection on all Muslims, they’re aiding govt in fight


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  1. Has she said anything wrong? These Tablikis had gathered illegally and then when in quarantine or under medical care had misbehaved with the medical staff. There are enough videos to prove this.

  2. Are people not allowed to have personal opinions just because they are government employees? There is a FIR against some Tablighi members for misbehaving with nurses and doctors in a Gaziabad hospital. For those who are compulsive secularists, just do an opinion poll of what the country feels about the Tablighis. The results will be illuminating.

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