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Tablighi foreigners were right under Modi govt’s nose, it should have stopped them: Baghel

In an interview with ThePrint, Chhattisgarh CM Baghel discussed the state’s efforts to tackle Covid-19 & lashed out at Modi govt.

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New Delhi: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has blamed the Modi government for the spurt in Covid-19 cases linked to the Tablighi Jamaat, saying it should have never allowed the Islamic organisation’s members to travel to states.

A congregation of the Tablighi Jamaat, a Muslim missionary group, held in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area last month was attended by thousands of people from within India and abroad. Before the authorities evacuated nearly 2,300 people from the Tablighi headquarters in the area and placed them under quarantine, hundreds of members, including those carrying Covid-19 infection, had spread across India.

The central government said last week that around 30 per cent of the total Covid-19 cases in the country were related to Tablighis.

“The government of India had the list of those (Tablighis) coming from abroad. Why did it let go of people who had gathered in Nizamuddin?” Congress leader Baghel told ThePrint in a Skype interview. “Why were they allowed to go to states? …The government of India knew there were foreigners right under its nose in Delhi. It should have stopped them.”

The central government gave a list of 107 Tablighis to the Chhattisgarh government, which managed to trace them and put them under quarantine, said Baghel. Only one of them tested positive, but he “is responsible for the spike in Covid cases in the state”, said Baghel.

The state has, however, managed to contain the spread. Out of 37 people who tested positive for Covid-19 in Chhattisgarh, 32 have been discharged. There hasn’t been a single coronavirus-related death in Chhattisgarh, where 23 of the state’s districts have been classified as green zones and only one is a red zone.

Chhattisgarh has decided to keep its borders closed even after the national lockdown is lifted on 3 May, Baghel said.

“Even if there is not a single case in the state, we will keep the border sealed as long as there is a single Covid-positive case in the country,” the chief minister added.

As for the possibility of a further extension of the nationwide lockdown, which ends on 3 May, Baghel said the decision on how to ease restrictions should be left to the discretion of states.

Also read: ‘100 Hindus’, said to be in Chhattisgarh Tablighi isolation list, complain of social boycott

‘Centre told Chhattisgarh-based firms not to donate to state’

Earlier this week, the chief minister wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting that the money deposited in the PM-CARES Fund by mining and industrial units from Chhattisgarh, under their corporate social responsibility (2 per cent of their average net profit in the preceding three years), be transferred to the state.

“These companies are not giving a paisa for the development of the area (where they are located)… There is NMDC…Balco (a Vedanta group company) is based in Korba, a red zone. It has given Rs 100 crore to the government of India… Don’t they have any responsibility for Korba?” Baghel said. “When we ask them, they say the government of India has asked them not to (give money to the state),” he added.

“I have nothing in writing… They have admitted it in the course of conversations…I have no proof. It’s clear from their conduct. It means as much.”

A senior government functionary in New Delhi, however, denied the allegation, saying, “Can he show a single circular from the Centre regarding this? He (the CM) is making baseless allegations. Why should we respond?”

The chief minister has also written to the central government seeking financial assistance of Rs 30,000 crore for the resumption of business activities in the state. “We are a producing state… cement, iron, coal… all are affected. How is it possible to restart activities without financial assistance?” he said. “You (Centre) collect the taxes, so who else should we demand it (assistance) from? The maximum collection of fees and taxes happens in March but it has been zero this time.”

‘Timely measures helped’

Baghel attributed the state’s successful Covid-19 management to timely measures, such as the imposition of prohibitory orders under CrPC Section 144 to prevent the assembly of people from 19 March, five days before the imposition of the nationwide lockdown.

Curfew was imposed two days later. As many as 2,100 people who had travelled abroad after 1 March were put under quarantine. Inter-district movements were stopped and even villagers put up barricades to stop the entry of outsiders. “We put special emphasis on social distancing and that was the biggest safeguard,” said the CM.

Also read: Maoists blame US for Covid-19, police say they are frustrated as supply network is hit


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  1. Why is this being carried still? From 26th April? Even after 10 days? Is it such an earth shaking article whose words deserve to reverberat through the pages of History?????

  2. Modiji or Pm not to be blamed. You can blame ministries directly. Or health dept or airport immigration etc. Thanks. Also to blame you and me and great leaders who criticisize only for not raising early warnings. No point in postmortem for the present issue. It will only help for the future.

  3. Every crime happens under the nose of the government. The problem is when the government supports it or covers it up.
    If the criminals had basic respect for the law, then we would not have had the expression of alleged criminal. There would be no business for the great lawyers to get bail.
    There would also be not distinction between the honorable / respected and the honorable / respected but alleged criminal an expression meant to shame the honorable / respected but the sad part is that it does not happen

    • This is very dangerous. The government should create a special cell under NIA to identify and arrest such disruptive elements and they should be handed over to the Gulf countries for fast and speedy punishment according to the Islamiic laws. They are spreading rumors and lies about the fake and false narrative about Islamophobia and endangering the lives, safety and livelihood of the Hindus in Gulf countries. They are fabricating the fake and baseless stories about the atrocities on Muslims by the government and the Hindus. This is a very dangerous game. This ugly politics is paid by the Wahabi groups and missionaries. They want to disturb the nation and communal harmony. Most of the Urban Naxal extremist groups are also involved in this.

  4. Just see the so called secular and patriots terming Modi Gov and not Indian Gov which spills the beans.
    If visa were not granted then these people – these critics of Gov would have cried foul saying – Islam khatre mein.
    In fact there is a substantial population of anti Indians existing in India who are the biggest enemies than Markajis, Rohinghyas etc.
    Ok now that it is understood that visa screening was an oversight, tablighis has a terrorist footprint, terrorism funding, Gov should muzzle all these sickulars and take this opportunity to ban such outfits right away no matter how and whatever be the crocodile tears are shed on behalf of Islam.
    The frogs (CMs) in the wells (states) have been taking pride themselves in controlling COVID-19

  5. Nonsense, extent of Covid emergency was not known a few days after the Taglighi conference in Nizzamuddin. Once it was known then they all went into hiding to prevent any tracking or treatment or isolation.

    You are a bad analyst trying to twist the facts.

  6. Congress always finds a way to blame Modi….even when the sun rises or sets. What a pathetic bunch of people!

  7. The same bugger would have shouted “Islamophobia” had The Govt stopped these law breaking, spitting and nurse assaulting paragons of Islam.
    After all, the spitters and nurse assaulting criminals are the real victims of this sordid saga.

  8. But then Baghel sahab, 220 former bureaucrats along with Congress leaders might have written a letter to UN that NDA government is discriminating against muslims.
    They might have lodged a couple of thousands of FIRs too.

  9. Absolutely. So many impartial observers have commented: how come the Tablighi foreigners were given visas, and also not screened at the time of entry? It was “deliberate oversight” on the part of SOMEONE BIG in the Modi government. One defense analyst by the name Sushant Sareen wrote an informed article in THE PRINT sometime back, pointing out that some of the Tablighis evense had international terror footprints. So, the LAXITY with which they were let into India for the purpose of the Jammat indicates as if “some people” in the government were HOPING for something untoward to happen because of these foreign Tablighis, so it could be drummed up into a frenzy against the Muslims at large. It could be a terror incident or, as it turned out eventually, a coronavirus contribution.
    The “Plot” of that “someone big” in the Modi government was inadvertently revealed by some BJP leaders themselves and the Modi media, by the ALACRITY with which they started pointing fingers at the Jammat for a full-fledged conspiracy by those Muslims to unleash the deadly virus on our population – – as if they travelled to India with THIS VERY PURPOSE!!!
    But God is great : it is often said not for nothing. God twisted the brains of some Hindutva guy to twitter something so poisonous that it provoked the ire of the UAE princess ; OIC and other influential foreign Muslims started taking note of the propaganda being built up against the Indian Muslims, which led to Mr Modi making a feeble but nevertheless welcome statement on twitter that the coronavirus doesn’t check anyone’s religion or some words to that effect. We would be happier if he had made such a comment on one of his nationally broadcasted speeches and not on a few-words twitter comment which gets lost on many.
    Under our own philosophy of “Vasudhaiv-Kutumbakam” we should urge many more foreign leaders, who are important to Modi government for the fructification of its various international policies, to make such concerned statements in favor of the Indian Muslims. In doing so they will only be contributing to keep the world’s largest Democracy on the course of Secularism and not degenerate into anarchy which could prove too cruel to millions of people of BOTH the Hindu and Muslim communities.

    • Can you please summarize your argument in 3 sentences? Your post is similar to Rahul Gandhi interviews – lots of confused and jumbled up worfs without any clarity.

      • The three sentences are:
        1) There are lots of things in life we don’t understand.
        2) We shouldn’t try to understand everything.
        3) Hahaha.

  10. If you are from Congress or opposition party, blame Modi, no matter what. At least Kejriwal is doing the best, took full responsibility and acting in the best interest of people. People attending Tablighi were brainwashed by their leaders, ending up them in a mess. Blaming Modi or Delhi govt will not help. People have to be responsible for their act. They are not children. As whatever the mistake has happened, focus on future than commenting on the past. Some of leaders from their community themselves commented that blaming will not work. As a CM of state, let him focus on protecting his people. Let him help and encourage health care workers, doctors and police force doing their duty.

  11. More fake news being peddled by the President of Journalists Guild to support Congress and lame lackey so called sickular gang. Modi did catch them under his nose not like Congress that allowed them in the first place.

  12. The Tabligis came under tourism visas. It was the duty of organisers to ensure attendees came with proper documents or they should have tipped the police. But then why would a congress chief minister blame his VOTE BANK.

    • Not true at all. The foreigners came at theior own cost and risk. They are supposed to know when they come on a tourist visa, what they can do, and what they can’t.

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