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Meerut cancer hospital wants Muslims to come only after getting Covid-19 negative test report

The hospital issued an ad asking only Muslims to bring their test results. It also called Hindus and Jains miserly but later apologised.

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New Delhi: A cancer hospital in Meerut is facing heat for an ad it published Friday, in which it directed Muslim patients to seek treatment at its facility only if they’ve tested negative for Covid-19. Furthermore, it also mandated that Muslim patients should be accompanied by a caretaker who has also tested negative for the highly infectious disease.

The ad resulted in several complaints of discrimination and a warning from the district administration to the hospital to roll back the new rule or risk losing its medical license.

“For the purpose of maintaining the security of the hospital staff and patients, the hospital requests all new Muslim patients that they and one caretaker with them get tested for Covid-19 and come to the hospital only if their reports are negative.”

Valentis Cancer Hospital had posted the advertisement in the daily Dainik Jagran, and claimed that several Muslim patients had not followed the rules and regulations, such as using a mask and maintaining cleanliness, and misbehaved with staff.

While it explicitly said all Muslims will have to produce their negative test results, the ad also listed out a few exemptions.

“The rule does not apply to doctors, paramedical staff, judges, police officers as well as those Muslims who do not live in areas with high Muslim population,” it stated.

As complaints came in, the hospital maintained that the advertisement was not discriminatory, but later issued an apology.

“We just appealed to all people of the country to support our health officers and administration and not create problems as that would be dangerous for everyone,” Dr Amit Jain, an oncologist who is part of the hospital management team, told ThePrint.

“Seventy per cent of our patients are Muslims, thousands of Muslims in the past have been cured of cancer in our hospital. Some people are just creating false propaganda,” he added.

However, when asked about the phrasing of the advertisement and how it singled out one community, Dr Jain said, “Some words were twisted and may have been written incorrectly.”

“We just meant to say that people who are in hotspots should get screened,” he added.


Also read: Covid an excuse to push Indian Muslims out of informal sector jobs. Apartheid the next step


Tablighi argument

The advertisement had cited the cases that emerged in various parts of the country which were linked to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation that took place in Delhi last month. As authorities worked to trace all the attendees of the congregation and quarantine them, there were reports of some people misbehaving with health workers.

“Them repeatedly not following the guidelines, not being cautious, troubling the hospital staff, only shows their ill-intention,” the ad said.

It further said the actions of a few Muslims was resulting in the community having to endure some hardships.

“It is due to the ignorance and ill-intention of some Muslim brothers that all Muslim brothers will have to suffer for some time. But this is important in larger public interest and also in the interest of Muslim brothers,” the advertisement stated.

The ad also referenced “wealthy Hindus/Jains among whom many are miserly” as it appealed to people to donate to the PM-CARES relief fund, set up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to raise money for the country’s Covid-19 efforts.


Also read: Hindu, Muslim NRI groups pan ‘escalation of Islamophobia’ in India after Tablighi incident


Adding insult to injury 

Valentis published an apology Saturday, but only added more fuel to the fire by stating that it didn’t mean to hurt Hindu and Jain sentiments. It, however, did not address the issue of separate rules for Muslim patients nor did it clarify if it was in effect.

“Some people of the Hindu and Jain faith have been hurt due to our notice yesterday. A wrong message was sent and we regret it and ask for forgiveness,” the apology read.

It also said, “If any Hindu/Muslim/Sikh/Christian was hurt because of our advertisement, we apologise.”

“It was supposed to be a more general appeal to everyone to not be miserly at this point and donate generously,” Dr Jain said, adding that the “apology was for everyone”.


Also read: Call it a mistake, not conspiracy against India, say Muslim scholars on Tablighi Jamaat event


Police register FIR

Meerut’s Medical administration said it would take strict action against the hospital if it did not apologise and roll back its new patient rule soon.

“We have issued a notice to them today (Sunday). If they don’t tender an apology in the next three days, we will revoke their license. They need to explicitly take back the ruling. No such language and discrimination is allowed in our country,” Raj Kumar, Chief Medical Officer, Meerut district administration, told ThePrint.

The Valentis Hospital ad had also stated that in cases of an emergency, Muslims will be admitted to the hospital but the samples of the patient and the caretaker will be mandatorily collected and screened at the patient’s expense. Each Covid-19 test costs Rs 4,500.

The Incholi Police station, under whose jurisdiction the hospital falls, has registered an FIR on the Meerut Police’s orders.


Brijesh Kumar Singh, the station house officer (SHO) of the Incholi Police station, said the hospital administration had been booked and an investigation is ongoing.

“We have registered an FIR against them under IPC Section 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), Section 295 (insult to religion), and Section 505-3 (Statements to incite a community),” Singh told ThePrint.

While Singh said the police would try and conclude the inquiry soon, he noted “there is no timeline and deadline for such investigations”.


Also read: How Tablighi Jamaat emerged as the ‘largest known’ Covid-19 source in South Asia


 

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15 COMMENTS

  1. Mr. Karna Get Well Soon. Your thoughts are even more dangerous than VIRUS of Covid-19. There might be vaxine available in later days for covid-19. But for your minds virus there is no Cure for sure

  2. Honestly I’m shocked and feel ashamed every time these increasing events of communal hate come to light! Problem is that the sensible Indians who I still feel are in majority, are quiet. I appeal to all to raise voices against this discrimination and hatred before we become a state similar to Pakistan! India’s strength is in its secular grain, Indians of ALL religions make india great. Indian muslims chose to stay in India at partition because they believed in secularism, please lets not betray them!

  3. We live in strange times whn speaking the truth is called bigotry and spreading hate. But then the truth is always difficult to digest and those who speak it are always in danger.

  4. One virus is undermining China’s place in the world. Great care should be taken to avoid another virus doing the same for India. A princess from the royal family of UAE has been expressing her disappointment over rising communal discord in India. Also reminding all of us that millions of Indians earn their bread and butter in the region. Aap linkage samajhiye …

  5. For the first time I am observing that non-Muslims are avoiding coming in touch with Muslims. Tablighi jamat and librandus have contribute a lot to this change in non-Muslims behavior. Muslim businesses are bound to suffer even after lifting of lockdown. Muslims playing victim card is not going to help this time. The divide between Muslims and non-Muslims is real. It will also badly affect the Indian economy.

    • Mr ak.dev: India is the land of caste based hierarchies, untouchability and an pernicious form of apartheid that simply does not go away. Indeed, Indian apartheid expands its tentacles and institutionalises discrimination as this ad from this hospital seems to show. And what is even worse is that supposedly educated Indians like you justify this attitude by scapegoating Muslims and liberals. Admittedly, Tablighi Jamaat was not run by the brightest of brains and some of its adherents have behaved ir-responsibly. Such elements from the Tablighi Jamaat group should be brought to justice, no ifs and buts.

      But the fact remains that the vast majority of Indian Muslims have utterly nothing to do with the Tablighi Jamaat outfit. Indeed, the majority of Sunni Muslims in India are not adherents of the TJ movement. Yet, the entire Muslim community is is being tarred with the same brush by the media, by the BJP IT cell which spreads its canards and worst of all, by people like you. If Muslims are scapegoated and their businesses are boycotted by many Hindus, well it is solely because the Modi Government has done nothing to calm the situation and prevent the targetting of a community already on its knees. In fact, the BJP government realises that polarising society in this fashion not only fetches it the votes of Hindus, hereunder even educated zealots but also anables it to deflect blame away from its lackadaisical approach to testing, prevention, provison of transportation to migrants and so on.

      Additionally is your anger applied uniformly to all offenders? For instance, Baldev Singh, a Sikh preacher arrived from COVID 19 hotspots Italy and Germany, refused to obey government directives and participated in the Hola Mohalla Sikh Festival in Anandpur Sahib. Mr Baldev Singh was later identifed as a “super-spreader” and his refusal to self-isolate has lead to about 40,000 people in Doaba district being quarantined. Mr Singh himself succumbed to the virus. Should we now target the Sikh community for the ir-responsible behaviour of one person Mr ak.dev ?

      In 1984, in the wake of the assassination of PM Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards, the Congress party encouraged and unleashed mindless violence against innocent Sikhs who had nothing to do with the killing of Ms Gandhi. Likewise, in 2002, we saw a similar pogroms against innocent Muslims in in Ahmedabad in the wake of the Godhra incident. That too was orchestrated by a political party such as the BJP and their lumpen fraternities such as the Bajrang Dal, VHP, RSS etc. The 1984 pogroms cemented the career of Rajiv Gandhi; the 2002 pogroms that of Narendra Modi. Clearly, Indians appear to back men who encourage violence rather than men who try reduce violence and hold this fractious country together. After all, today, Godse and Savarkar have temples Indians cities and busts in the Parliament respectively don’t they Sir ? ?

  6. A great leader should be able to bring out the BEST in every person. Narendra Modi has succeeded in bringing out the WORST in every HINDU. If a conglomerate of such Hindus is his dream of a “New India”, then God save the world from “New India”.

    • To expect one of the most mediocre occupants of the PM’s office to be able to solve something so intractable as this inter-religious rivalry, one has to be a Bhakt with the belief that the present PM is God’s gift to India, with a size 56″. It’s easy to forget that a lasting solution has eluded some of the best minds of this country. Better that both communities keep their hands off each other, then indulge in the kind of mindless violence as in 1947, under the benign gaze of some of India’s most ‘illustrious leaders’, including the redoubtable J. Nehru.

    • Well said Mr Sanjiv Bhatla !

      The last thing one needs these days is rioting and violence based on religion. Sadly, PM Modi exploits this as an opportunity to consolidate power and sew the seeds of discord. Clearly, he does not realise that India is not a country made up “parts that have come together and want to be together, but of parts that are held together”. For all its faults, the Congress regimes of the past somehow held this fractious, fratricidal country together despite the many fissiparous forces that run amok in the country. One has seen separatist movements in Kashmir, Punjab, north-east, Naxalite movements in other parts of India and religious intolerance everywhere. And yet the country has held – despite some egregious mistakes by the Congress. The non-inclusive, Hindutva spouting Gujarat model of the BJP and its puppetmasters in the RSS is playing with fire if it stokes the identity card needlessly. And the egregious economic mismanagement of the Supremo does not make things better either.

    • 100% rightly said. We can’t fight Covid-19 honestly if don’t stop fighting Hindu Muslim for Corona. Covid-19 don’t spread in a particular context mmunity or cast or r region, please try to understand and do not fell in political game of certain person’s I don’t want to take their name here. USA, CHINA, ITALY, IRAN, UK, See these all countries does have different religions majority people but everyone is affected. So please do not label with Muslim community in India for COVID-19. I can understand that Muslims are less educated and poor people, mainly do labour class jobs so they are mainly forced to live in slums which is the threat for Covid-19 virus spread. But we can’t blame them for the same.

    • Aren’t the other 70% cases, viz. the majority linked to Hindus then? Do you boycott fellow Hindus Mr Karna?

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