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News on TV channel got migrants to gather at Bandra station in Mumbai: Minister Nawab Malik

Speaking to ThePrint, Maharashtra Minorities Affairs Minister Nawab Malik says Modi govt should have a clear policy on migrants stuck due to lockdown.

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New Delhi: Maharashtra’s Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik said it was a television news channel spreading misinformation about railway services resuming that led to migrants gathering at the Bandra station in Mumbai Tuesday during lockdown.

Speaking to ThePrint, he also said the Narendra Modi government should come up with a clear policy on migrants who are stuck at various places due to the lockdown.  

Malik said a report on a news channel talked about the possibility of train services being resumed, which led to the migrants gathering at the Bandra station Tuesday. 

“The news flashed in the afternoon. There is a high possibility that many saw that and decided to board the special trains. The Maharashtra government is taking care of food and lodging but it is the Modi government that needs to come out with a clear cut policy for such people,” Malik said. “If they have to be sent through special trains or buses we can make arrangements but a final decision has to be taken by them.”

The minister also shared the ABP Majha news video on Twitter and said the crowd could have gathered after the telecast. 

In the same thread, he also shared a Western Railway schedule of special trains running to ensure supply of essential commodities, and said this could have also led to the migrants crowding at the station.

The state is the worst affected in the country with 2,687 Covid-19 cases as of Wednesday morning — 1,540 in Mumbai alone. There have been 178 deaths in all.

Malik, however, said the number of cases are more as the state is carrying out the maximum tests. “If you see the number of tests happening in the country, one third of it is in Maharashtra. The number of checkups is more and that’s why more cases are getting detected.”

He added, “If you see the ratio of checkup, almost half of the country’s checkups is happening in Maharashtra. In 80 per cent of the cases, they don’t have any problem. It is only in cases which come at the last moment, have mortality. Otherwise, everyone else is fine.” 

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader added that around 5,000 people have been quarantined at different centres.

Also read: With social boycott and fines, Covid-19 is the new ‘untouchability’ in Maharashtra villages

On Wadhawans controversy 

The Maharashtra government last week sent senior IPS officer Amitabh Gupta on compulsory leave for allowing DHFL promoters Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan — accused in the DHFL and Yes Bank fraud cases — to travel with 21 others to Mahabaleshwar from Khandala despite the ongoing lockdown. The bureaucrat had issued a letter exempting the Wadhawans from the lockdown norms citing a family emergency.

Asked about the controversy, Malik once again pointed fingers at the central government. 

Jo Amit Shah ke log hai jo aarop laga rahein hai woh toh BJP leaders ke hee jaan-ne waale hai (Amit Shah’s people who are levelling allegations about some men are known to BJP leaders). It could be that IPS officer and Principal Secretary (home) Amitabh Gupta gave them permission on the directions of the BJP high command,” Malik alleged, and pointed out that Wadhawan’s partner is a relative of a BJP leader. 

“Whose letter is it that gave the permission? It is by Gupta. He has been sent on leave and we have started an inquiry,” he added. 

He said IAS and IPS officers come under the Centre, adding that the Modi government is free to take action and Maharashtra would welcome it.

Also read: Shock in Mumbai Police as ‘honest’ top cop gets blamed for Wadhawan family trip

‘Delhi didn’t act on time in Tablighi Jamaat matter’

Commenting on the Tablighi Jamaat case in Nizamuddin, Malik said those who had the responsibilities in Delhi didn’t do their job properly. 

“We were the first one to start awareness related to Covid-19. We imposed Section 144 and all permissions were cancelled and even prayers at mosques were stopped,” Malik said. “If those who were responsible for it in Delhi failed to implement it, then it is their mistake. In Maharashtra, mosques were locked after we made the appeal. Mosques or any other religious places are not open in Maharashtra.” 

Malik said while Maharashtra followed all rules and implemented them, the health ministry failed to do its job properly. 

“We even banned marriages and had said it much earlier that those coming from abroad should be quarantined. But they just used thermal scanning and stamped them,” he added. 

On the controversy sparked by the Mumbai municipal commissioner’s directions that all Covid-19 victims should be cremated and not buried, Malik said: “WHO norms for preventative measures and last rites are being followed. It has no mention of burial. The commissioner made a mistake and rectified it. If some officer is not following WHO norms, he will be asked to do it.”

Uddhav Thackeray may have to take oath again‘ 

On the issue of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray having to become a member of the state legislature before 28 May or resign and take oath again, Malik said: “What will happen at the most is we will have to do the swearing-in again. We have 11 governor-nominated seats of which two are vacant, so we have recommended to nominate him so that this procedure can be avoided. Otherwise we will have to do the swearing-in.” 

Also read: Lockdown casts a cloud over Uddhav Thackeray’s election to legislature and smooth run as CM


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  1. You guys are so desperate to stay in the business that you are resorting to blatant lies and peddling the same as truth. You have reached the depths of treason that a human being can reach to harm own’s own country.

  2. The Prime Minister…only the prime minister is responsible for the seriousness of these unfortunate poor workers.They were dragged out of home, penniless, homeless and without food and shelter!!Did the PM do any thinking about this impending danger ? NO!!Nothing has been done by him!!!

    • If everything has to be done by the central government, let there be president rule in Maharashtra. What for Maharashtra has a government? Don’t do anything and blame centre. Nawab Malik is good at doing Hindu/Muslim divide. Otherwise he is good for nothing.

    • Bhai saab… Even before PM announcing extension of lockdown, half-a-dozen states have already done that including Maharashtra. Now pull PM for that. Everything in this country to be blamed. State CMs are innocents. What else you can expect from minority affairs minister in Maharashtra. For whom he will sing song?

      • But for movement of migrant workers from Mumbai to their home states central govt should take the decision since it involves inter state transportation..

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