Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir administration Tuesday started a massive contact-tracing exercise after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ravinder Raina, who is president of the party’s union territory unit, tested positive for Covid-19.
Raina had travelled to Bandipora district in north Kashmir Sunday along with Union minister and Udhampur MP Dr Jitendra Singh, BJP national vice-president Avinash Rai Khanna and general secretary Ram Madhav, among others, to meet the family of three local BJP leaders killed in a militant attack last week.
Raina Tuesday took to Twitter to announce that he tested positive for Covid-19.
नमस्कार मित्रो, आतंकवादीयों द्वार बानडीपुरा मे भाजपा नेताओ श्रीमान वसीम बारी, श्री उमर सुलतान एव उनके पिता जी की हत्या के बाद मैं 5 दिनों तक कश्मीर /बानडीपुरा में रहा, आज मुझे हल्का सा बुखार था, टेस्ट करवाया तो रिपोर्ट में COVID-19 + आया है, No other Symptoms .. जय माता दी
— Ravinder Raina (@ImRavinderRaina) July 14, 2020
Raina, according to J&K government officials, is undergoing treatment, but they didn’t specify if he is at hospital or at home. Madhav, Singh and Khanna have gone into self-quarantine, officials added.
Have gone into Self-Quarantine with immediate effect from 4 PM today, after receiving the news about #Corona positive test of J&K BJP President Sh Ravinder Raina who had accompanied us from Srinagar to Bandipora on 12th July.
— Dr Jitendra Singh (@DrJitendraSingh) July 14, 2020
Am quarantining myself for a few days since my colleague n BJP J&K President Ravinder Raina tested +ve for Corona today n I was with him 48 hrs ago in Srinagar. I tested -ve for Corona 4 times during travel in last 2 weeks. Yet taking precautions to ensure safety of me n others🙏
— Ram Madhav (@rammadhavbjp) July 14, 2020
I am self isolating myself for a few days as BJP J&K President @RavinderBJPJK tested +ve for #Corona today and I was with him yesterday.
My #Corona test report is negative. Yet as a measure of precautions and safety, quarantining myself.
— Avinash Rai Khanna (@ImAvinashKhanna) July 14, 2020
BJP leader Wasim Bari (38), his brother Umer Bashir (30) and father Bashir Ahmed (60) were killed outside a shop owned by the family last Wednesday.
After his visit to Bandipora, the J&K BJP president had attended a condolence meeting held for the slain party leaders.
The meeting was held at Srinagar’s Tagore Hall where 100-200 BJP members and local leaders from across Kashmir were present. Raina, towards the end of the condolence meet, was also requested by many BJP workers for a selfie, to which the leader obliged.
The venue also had media presence and a huge deployment of security forces.
Several journalists had covered the condolence meet as well as the BJP leaders’ visit to Bandipora, prompting the Kashmir Press Club to urge authorities to conduct tests of those present at the Srinagar venue as well as in Bandopra.
The BJP delegation had also met several senior government officials in Bandipora and Srinagar.
Members of Bari’s family put under quarantine
According to a senior government official, at least eight people, including members of Bari’s family who had come in contact with Raina, have been put under quarantine.
“Our focus first are the people who came in touch with Raina in rooms and then we will move on towards people who met him outside Bari’s residence. We will be observing all the contacts in the coming days. Fortunately, in Bandipora, due to social distancing norms, Raina might not have come into contact with a large number of people,” said the government official, who did not wish to be named.
Another government official said: “We have begun the process of contact-tracing. Everyone who attended the Tagore Hall meeting will be (contact-)traced and observed in the coming days.”
Local BJP leaders to also go into isolation
Several local BJP leaders also said they would be going into self-quarantine.
J&K BJP spokesperson Altaf Thakur sent out a media message Tuesday evening. “Dear friends, I am going under quarantine from today (Tuesday) 6 pm onwards after coming in contact with party chief Shri Ravinder Raina at Bandipora. Please don’t visit my house for some time,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu Tuesday visited Bari’s family in Bandipora. The governor handed over a financial assistance of Rs 20 lakh to the family members and conveyed his heartfelt condolences, according to a statement issued late evening by the J&K government.
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