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Mamata calls questions on Tablighi event ‘communal’, avoids giving any answers

Mamata govt on 1 April had shared details of the number of people who attended the Delhi event. Since then, there has been no official update.

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Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday declined to give an update on the status of the people from the state who had attended Delhi’s Tablighi Jamaat congregation, telling the media to not ask “communal questions”.

So far, Banerjee has only once shared the details of the number of people from Bengal who had attended the event.

On 1 April, while addressing the media, she said 54 attendees were traced — 44 of them are foreign nationals.

“We got a list of 71 people, we have already traced 54, and 44 of them are foreigners. All of them were quarantined. They are cooperating with us. We will appeal to them to come forward and share the details with the government. There is nothing to be scared of,” Banerjee had said

But six days later, when she was asked for an update on the matter, Banerjee said, “Do not ask communal questions.”

Also read: IAS officer’s wife, professor, ex-MP — Bengal’s Covid-19 ‘rumour factory’ a club of elites

Govt officials tight-lipped

While all state governments across the country are regularly sharing figures linked to the Tablighi event, Bengal government officials have chosen to remain tight-lipped.

The only official statement, except for the chief minister’s, that came on the issue was from West Bengal Home Secretary Alapan Banerjee.

On 31 March, he had tweeted, “All those from WB, who have participated in this event (Tablighi Jamaat) are being identified and will be immediately tested for Covid and put under mandatory 14 days quarantine.” 

Information of attendees not fool-proof

According to a report by central security agencies, 232 people had attended the Tablighi event from West Bengal. Of this, 123 are Indian nationals and 109 are foreigners. 

Meanwhile, Bengal police officials said they are trying hard to trace all the attendees, but information, including phone numbers or addresses of the attendees, provided by the central government appeared to be either non-functional or were being used by others or their family members. 

A senior police official said many of the attendees from the state are still in Delhi and under quarantine.

‘CM is bringing her appeasement politics’

The Bengal BJP, meanwhile, accused Mamata of playing “appeasement politics” amid the Covid-19 crisis.

BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said he has written to Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan about the way the Bengal government is treating the Tablighi matter.

“I am shocked to see that our chief minister is bringing her appeasement politics here too. Nobody is blaming a community in particular. It is about tracing the people and containing the infection during the time of an outbreak,” he added.

“She is bringing communal agenda and politics here too. We got a number from Delhi that around 270 people are here. At least seven of them were identified in my constituency Kharagpur. Locals have informed the administration too.” 

Another senior BJP leader, who doesn’t want to be named, echoed Ghosh.

“She (Mamata) is again scared of that 30 per cent (Muslim) vote bank. However, this is not a political situation. But she is still thinking of the upcoming assembly elections,” added the leader.

Trinamool Congress MP from Murshidabad Abu Taher Khan, meanwhile, said people, who attended the event, are cooperating with the government.

“Some people are trying to politicise this, that is unfortunate. We are with our chief minister. It should not be played communally,” Khan added.

‘Identification of attendees can’t have communal angle’

Talking to The Print, Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar said, “The best purpose is served when real time figures are shared. This emanates from the Supreme Court order. The apex court has rightly indicated that such suppression can generate panic. Sharing of information must happen by the fastest mode, otherwise speculation will occupy space.

“As regards to the Nizamuddin event, it has shaken everyone and it has also increased the challenge enormously. Identifying the people who participated and taking appropriate action can never have a communal angle to it. In this battle against the virus, as it was rightly indicated by PM Modi. We need to rise above politics, ideologies and communities,” he added.

Also read: These Bengal villagers found ways to keep Covid-19 out, instead of waiting for govt help


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  1. There is nothing fishy or appalling about the attitude of the TMC government in Bengal. It functions with a positivity and a no nonsense attitude. The BJP leadership is ,undoubtedly in cahoots with elements, intent upon damaging the peaceful and secular image of the nation. This has been amply demonstrated by a spurt in sporadic and uncontrolled events of mob lynching in Delhi and Haryana. The serendipity of the Markaz episode cannot be overemphasized and overlooked . It seems the mainstream media and the bigots were just waiting for such God sent opportunity. They seized the innitiative and went head-on with their polarizing manifesto. The BJP bigwigs would only love to see Didi succumb to their narrative. But ,as has been proven time and again, Mamta Banerjee, is a politician in a different mould. Her nobility, ingenuity and grace is flawless and praiseworthy. She has quiet elegantly and with a characteristic charisma, led this battle against the corona menace, in the most exemplary of ways. She on many a occasion, has come out on the roads, visited the localities and settlements, ensuring that the protocol is observed. The quarantine protocol is in place and assuredly intact for the coronavirus infected but sadly and unfortunately their is no such legally binding protocol arrangement for those infected with the hate bug. God save them. Jai Bharat.
    (Md. Israil)

  2. I think, people who attended Tablighi gathering are scholars. Scholars are innocent and Nadan. They gave wrong numbers to officials, ran away and hiding because they are scholars. Misbehaving with medical staff must have been done with full Ganga-Jamba Tehjib and thus secular act and should be louder.
    Talking about Jamar is, blaming all Muslims and blaming Muslims is equal to blaming Islam and islam’s Insult would not be tolerated. This is the statement by intelligent Hyderabad leader. So don’t communalise the issue. God save us ….

  3. For the opposition in India, particularly Congress, Left and TMC, shouting “Communal colour” is the best way to evade liability, responsibility and accountability. They will use this to escape, as well as to attack Modi/ BJP.

  4. What nonsense is this. Since when disclosing critical information on public health has become communalism. It is critical because those people interacted with the virus carriers and there are above 1000 cases related to jamaat alone. Then how can peope know how many people interacted with these jamat attendees and how many are traced and quarantined and how many are tested. How can government be held accountable. Are the other governments which are certified as secular headed by Mamata not revealing such information. If this is not appeasement then what is. She is risking everyones life for her vote bank. Shame.

  5. They belong to her illegal friends and community from Bangladesh – she must have had a share in what happened in Delhi – so don’t blame her, the Tabligis are her brothers and she can’t say against them.

  6. Hers is absolutely the right attitude – – don’t make it communal. If you watch some unabashedly pro-BJP channels like the one run by Rajat Sharma, you will wonder if they had been WAITING for the mishap to happen. I watched it one evening, and I was disgusted the way that man was laboring to prove that the ENTIRE ill of coronavirus in india was due to the Tablighi Jamaat incident. The way its faithfuls have taken the cue shows to me that it was a BJP government’s CONSPIRACY to ALLOW the foreigners in large numbers into the event, HOPING that something untoward will result. I saw an article by one Sushant Sareen on ThePrint only two days ago which told us that the Jammat followers are in fact terrorists with international footprints. WHY WERE THEY GIVEN VISAS IN SUCH LARGE NUMBERS??

    • You are the disgusting idiot, not rajat sharma. Even when something goes completely wrong, and blame clearly lies with one group, you start imagining a ‘conspiracy by the bjp’. Fyi – these guys mostly got visas on arrival, or e-visas, which are now given to 45+ countries to promote tourism and smoother business travel. That’s the policy of the govt for several years and has much broader objectives. They don’t decide individual cases. There is no plausible way this could have been planned by bjp or anyone, but you just want to place the blame there, no matter what the reality.
      Also, as you said, these TJ guys have been described as low budget terrorists. But you think talking about them and acknowledging that reality is ‘communal’. The problem is biased people like you.

  7. Bengal governments figures itself are fishy. The official bulletin(available publicly on the health dept website) shows a decreasing trend in cumulative quarantine cases. Anyone who has even a basic idea of math would know that cumulative cases can only either remain same(if no new cases are found) or increase over time. On top of this , this info about the unusually huge proportion of foreigners from a single state . All fingers of suspicion are pointing to the government and there already is a whisper doing the rounds in the society.

  8. Ms. Banerjee will happily sacrifice the lives of thousands in order to appease her core votebank. Her re-election next year depends solely in the maintenance and propagation of this votebank.
    Questions pertaining to the Jamaat are “communal” in her opinion but I am sure she can talk for hours on questions pertaining to the RSS or VHP.

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