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Delhi High Court directs Delhi Police to handover keys of Markaz Nizamuddin to Maulana Saad

Delhi High Court grills Delhi Police for continuing with its restrictions at Markaz Nizamuddin premises since March 2020, says the case was registered under Epidemic Diseases Act.

Sabrangindia 28 Nov 2022

Markaz

Rejecting the Delhi Police's stand for continuing with the restrictions on public entry at the Tablighi Jamaat headquarter in Nizamuddin, the Delhi High Court on Monday ordered the Police to handover the keys of Markaz Nizamuddin to Maulana Saad. 

In March 2022, the court had permitted holding of prayers on five floors of the mosque during the month of Ramzan this year. In May, the high court permitted the mosque management to allow public entry beyond the month of Ramzan, for the first time since March 2020. The relief was limited only to offering of prayers. However, the public entry continued to remain barred at the attached madrasa and hostel. 

Delivering the judgement today, Justice Jasmeet Singh observed that the keys would have to be handed over to the person from whom they were taken. "You have taken the possession from some person. You either return the possession to that person. I am not adjudicating an FIR for title of property, that is not issue before me," said the court. 

The police argued that the original possessor has not come forward to take control of the property. It submitted that under Delhi Waqf Act, the mutawali has to come forward and not Delhi Waqf Board, which is the petitioner. 

However, the court said it is not going to look into the issue of title. Grilling the police, the court said: "Are you in possession? In what capacity have you taken possession? The FIR was registered under Epidemic Diseases Act... that is over now.""If you take a property under Epidemic Diseases Act and register an FIR, then whosoever was in possession at that point of time, would have to file suit for possession?" asked the court. 

When the police submitted that the possessor of the property will have to come forward, the court asked the Markaz management to go to police. "You will hand over the keys and impose whatever conditions," the court told the police. In response to a question, the police submitted that the "possession was taken" from Maulana Saad. However, it claimed he was absconding. However, the markaz management said he is in Nizamuddin only and not absconding and will appear before the police as directed.

After the high court questioned the police, the counsel representing Delhi Police submitted it would not have any objection to handover the property to him on furnishing indemnity bond. The court also said no documents would be required to be submitted for the purpose. 

The order was passed in the petition filed by Delhi Waqf Board in 2021 challenging the restrictions imposed on public entry at Masjid Bangley Wali, Madrasa Kashif-ul-Uloom and the attached hostel, in connection with a case registered in 2020 for alleged violation of COVID-19 guidelines by the markaz management. 

The police recently had filed an application in the case urging the high court to direct the Waqf Board and Banglewali Masjid's management to produce details regarding the ownership of land and building plan approved for construction of the mosque situated at Basti Nizamuddin. In a case of obvious overreach, deputy Commissioner of Police Rohit Meena in the application had also asked the court to direct the Delhi Waqf Board and mosque management to produce the copy of sanction plan in relation to Banglewali Masjid.

The police had argued that neither the Waqf Board nor the mosque management, which is an applicant in the case, have produced any document to prove the that the property in Basti Hazrat Nizamuddin is a waqf property registered under the provisions of Waqf Act and that it has been vested with the management, which is registered as a mutawalli or under any other capacity. 

Contending that the Waqf Board cannot maintain a "petition to claim possession" of an "alleged waqf property" which has been legally given to any mutawali for admission and possession, the police had said that only upon termination of mutawali as per provisions of the law, the board can regain any right of direct management. 

"It has also not produced the register as contemplated under Section 37 of the Waqf Act, inter-alia, giving the name of the mutawalli or his successor to the said property," the application stated. 

The court today disposed of the petition after the police said it would not have any objection to handover the keys to Maulana Saad. Senior Advocate Sanjoy Ghose and Delhi Waqf Board Standing Counsel Wajeeh Shafiq represented the petitioner. Advocate Fuzail Ahmad Ayyubi represented the applicant, mosque management. Advocate Rajat Nair represented the Delhi Police.

Background

In April 2020, as the country was reeling under the impact of a hastily called ‘national lockdown’, large sections of the electronic media, especially television channels and social media handles were busy spewing hatred against India’s Muslims. The target was a previously sanctioned (authorities being the Delhi police under the Indian Home Ministry) permission to hold a two day international religious gathering in mid-March 2020 by the Tableeghi Jamaat. While several outfits and bodies, including political figures and majority religious gatherings continued unabated after the declaration of Covid-19 as a pandemic, it was this event that was singled out for a mass campaign.

Through this, only Muslims were being ostracized, beaten and even killed amid the pandemic. They’re being accused of spreading ‘Corona Jihad’ and being called ‘Super Spreaders’. Why are the scales tilted in the favour of the majority when they were equally at fault for flouting norms laid down by the government? Why was a medical issue turned into a religious one? And why did the media not show the other side of the story?

Sabrangindia has reported extensively on this rabid bias apparent in largescale hate-letting by the media. We had asked then, Covid-19: Was Tablighi Jamaat event the only mass gathering leading up to the lockdown? -Are Indian Muslims being selectively targeted despite the fact that gatherings and events were organised by people of different faiths?

High Courts Quash FIRs

By August 2020, several High Courts had quashed politically motivated FIRs against many of those who attended these gatherings.  In August 2020, the Aurangabad bench of Bombay High Court has fallen in line with the high courts of Karnataka, Allahabad and Madras in letting off members of Tablighi Jamaat either on bail or by quashing FIRs against them. However, it was the Bombay High Court (Aurangabad bench) which was the first high court to have called out the blatant communalism and the way the entire incident was handled by the government, the police and the media.

In its 58-page judgment, dated August 21, the bench comprising Justices MG Sewlikar and TV Nalawade, was related to three FIRs filed at Ahmednagar police stations against a total of 29 foreign nationals and 6 Indians. The FIRs were similar in the circumstances under which the accused were charged. They were all found in mosques, stranded and hence given shelter by the mosque trustees/management.

The petitioners, mainly foreign nationals, had contended that they came to India on valid visas issued by the Government of India and they have come to experience Indian culture, tradition, hospitality and Indian food. They had even informed the District Superintendent of Police, Ahmednagar about their arrival. They were just given shelter in the mosques as they were unable to go and live anywhere else due to lockdown restrictions.

Were visa conditions violated?

The contention of the police was that the petitioners were preaching Islam and despite orders dated March 23, to close religious places, they continued to stay in mosques and “indulged in Tablighi activity”. The police further contended that the petitioners were in violation of the Visa conditions and breached orders issued by the authorities created under Disaster Management Act, 2005.

The court observed that a foreigner may be punished under section 14 of the Foreigners Act if he acts in violation of the conditions of the valid visa. The court said that “the so-called conditions are not in the form of provisions of Act or rules framed under any Act. They are in the form of so called guidelines or at the most executive instructions.”

The court further pointed out that though restrictions are put on the foreigners who come to India on tourist visas to prevent them from engaging in Tablighi activity, there is no restriction on them to visit religious places to attend the normal religious activities like attending religious discourse.

2020: Sabrangindia Listicle of Various events not similarly highlighted by the Media

The coronavirus pandemic in India has infected over 12,000 people in the country and the death toll has crossed 450. In light of this, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba has asked state governments to at once strengthen the surveillance of international air travellers who entered India between January 18 to March 23 as there appeared to be a “gap” between those being monitored for Covid-19 and 15 lakh arrivals during that time, the Economic Times had reported on March 27.

In a letter to all the chief secretaries of States and UTs, Gauba had said that the gap in monitoring of international passengers “may seriously jeopardize the efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19”, given the fact that many of those who have tested positive for the virus have a history of international travel.

"As you are aware, we initiated screening of international incoming passengers at the airports with effect from January 18, 2020. I have been informed that up to March 23, 2020, cumulatively, Bureau Of Immigration has shared details of more than 15 lakh incoming international passengers with the States/UTs for monitoring for COVID-19.

"However, there appears to be a gap between the number of international passengers who need to be monitored by the States/UTs and the actual number of passengers being monitored,” Gauba’s letter read.

If there are so many who can potentially be responsible for the spread of the coronavirus, why is the only the minority community, especially Muslims, who are being targeted for the spread of the virus? It has turned into a vicious cycle of Islamophobia feeding hate, and often targeted and malicious reportage against the community, that in turn further isolates and demonises the community.  

Apart from the Tablighi Jamaat event, which is solely being held responsible for the spike in cases, there were a multitude of gatherings in the country, which went unreported or completely ignored by the mainstream media. And if not unnoticed or unpunished, the people involved were not treated with as much vile discrimination as those who attended the Tablighi Jamaat.

1.  Namaste Trump event – Nearly 100,000 people attended the visit of US President Donald Trump’s visit to Gujarat which took place on February 24. One must remember that the first coronavirus case in the country was detected on January 30. Though the first case in Gujarat was detected almost toward the end of March, the presence of NRIs at the event could be potentially deadly for the population.

2.  Ob Feb 25, thousands of people attended the Maha Shivratri event held by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, Founder, Isha Foundation at Coimbatore. All those people must be tested too.

3.  Out of the 800 people who attended a shraddh ceremony in Madhya Pradesh’s Morena district on March 20. Later, at least 12 people who attended the gathering were tested positive for coronavirus, reported IB Times. Out of these 33 people were put under quarantine, but the number of infected people could have been much higher an administrative officer told the publication.

4.  Singer Kanika Kapoor who returned from her stay in the United Kingdom and was tested positive for the coronavirus, faced massive criticism for allegedly hiding her travel history. After returning from London, she hosted a lavish party which saw the attendance of many people, including political leaders. The singer triggered a massive coronavirus scare among parliamentarians and other prominent figures who had interacted with the singer during these parties before she tested positive. All of them have tested negative for the coronavirus now, NDTV reported. According to a report by Aaj Tak, she met scores of people, putting all of their lives in danger, after her arrival on March 9 till March 20, when she was tested positive.

5.  While the coronavirus pandemic was rising in India, Business Insider reported that a total of 61,652 pilgrims visited the Tirumala temple. Though coronavirus prevention camps were put up at all checkpoints, the number of people tested by the government is unknown.

6.  Despite Covid-19, nearly 1.5 lakh from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu attended the temple festival ‘rathavotsam’ in Kadiri town of Andhra Pradesh in March, reported The News Minute. It is not clear how many have been tested for the coronavirus.

7.  The Indian Express on April 1 reported that around 400 pilgrims who had gone to visit the Mata Vaishno Devi temple, were stranded in Jammu due to the cancellation of train services amid the coronavirus scare. However, the shrine board and Press Information Bureau denied the information saying it had closed the temple to visitors on March 18.

8.  The Uttar Pradesh CM, Yogi Adityanath himself violated the lockdown and social distancing rules after he was seen participating in a pre-dawn religious ceremony in Ayodhya. State officials, however, said proper precautions were taken before the ceremony, which was held to shift the idol of Ram Lalla to a temporary structure inside the Ram Janmabhoomi premises. They said thorough sanitisation of both the premises and the people involved had been ensured before the ceremony, Economic Times reported.

9.  In Telangana, which is one of the worst hit states, Allola Indrakaran Reddy (Minister of Endowments, Law and Environment, Forest) and Puvvada Ajay Kumar (Transport Minister), attended a Ram Navami event, reported ANI.

10.  BJP MLA Masala Jayaram violted lockdown norms and celebrated his birthday with children and over 200 members of the village at Turuvekera in Karnataka’s Tumakuru district.

11.  Not far behind was BJP MLA Dadarao Keche from Wardha who celebrated his birthday amid the lockdown. He claims to be innocent saying he invited only 21 labourers to the party, but alleges his political adversaries took advantage of the situation and spread information about the party resulting in 200 people attending it, reported The Indian Express.

12.  Telangana BJP MLA T Raja Singh was found flouting lockdown rules as he gathered with over 70 people in April on the PM’s 9 PM 9 minutes call to light candles, etc, reported The Hindu.

13.  IAS officer Pallavi Jain Govil was accused of dodging the Covid-19 test and conducting meetings despite testing positive. However, the government denied the same saying she and her family had followed all quarantine norms, reported She The People TV.

14.  Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Sunday attended a marriage ceremony in Belagavi where hundreds had gathered, showing scant regard for the government’s own directive which had banned public events, including marriages, with more than hundred people, due to the coronavirus outbreak.

15.  A village in Chittapur of Kalburgi ,deemed hotspot for #COVID19, violated lockdown restrictions to host Siddhalingeswara chariot festival where hundreds of people gathered. Kalburgi reported the first #COVID19 death in the country. Death toll in district now at 3 with 18 active cases. No media outrage over this was reported.

16.  On Monday, April 13, the Uttar Pradesh government arranged over 20 buses to allegedly ferry 900 pilgrims from South India – Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, back who were stuck in Varanasi, back to their hometowns, reported Dainik Jagran. Varanasi District Magistrate Raj Sharma said that there were 700-800 pilgrims who approached their respective member of parliaments who then approached the Centre which arranged for transport to get them home. According to Free Press Journal, they were tested before they were allowed to board the buses. The departure was reportedly supervised by police officers. 


Related:

Covid-19: Was Tablighi Jamaat event the only mass gathering leading up to the lockdown?

FIR against 4 for attending Tablighi Jamaat

Delhi High Court directs Delhi Police to handover keys of Markaz Nizamuddin to Maulana Saad

Delhi High Court grills Delhi Police for continuing with its restrictions at Markaz Nizamuddin premises since March 2020, says the case was registered under Epidemic Diseases Act.

Markaz

Rejecting the Delhi Police's stand for continuing with the restrictions on public entry at the Tablighi Jamaat headquarter in Nizamuddin, the Delhi High Court on Monday ordered the Police to handover the keys of Markaz Nizamuddin to Maulana Saad. 

In March 2022, the court had permitted holding of prayers on five floors of the mosque during the month of Ramzan this year. In May, the high court permitted the mosque management to allow public entry beyond the month of Ramzan, for the first time since March 2020. The relief was limited only to offering of prayers. However, the public entry continued to remain barred at the attached madrasa and hostel. 

Delivering the judgement today, Justice Jasmeet Singh observed that the keys would have to be handed over to the person from whom they were taken. "You have taken the possession from some person. You either return the possession to that person. I am not adjudicating an FIR for title of property, that is not issue before me," said the court. 

The police argued that the original possessor has not come forward to take control of the property. It submitted that under Delhi Waqf Act, the mutawali has to come forward and not Delhi Waqf Board, which is the petitioner. 

However, the court said it is not going to look into the issue of title. Grilling the police, the court said: "Are you in possession? In what capacity have you taken possession? The FIR was registered under Epidemic Diseases Act... that is over now.""If you take a property under Epidemic Diseases Act and register an FIR, then whosoever was in possession at that point of time, would have to file suit for possession?" asked the court. 

When the police submitted that the possessor of the property will have to come forward, the court asked the Markaz management to go to police. "You will hand over the keys and impose whatever conditions," the court told the police. In response to a question, the police submitted that the "possession was taken" from Maulana Saad. However, it claimed he was absconding. However, the markaz management said he is in Nizamuddin only and not absconding and will appear before the police as directed.

After the high court questioned the police, the counsel representing Delhi Police submitted it would not have any objection to handover the property to him on furnishing indemnity bond. The court also said no documents would be required to be submitted for the purpose. 

The order was passed in the petition filed by Delhi Waqf Board in 2021 challenging the restrictions imposed on public entry at Masjid Bangley Wali, Madrasa Kashif-ul-Uloom and the attached hostel, in connection with a case registered in 2020 for alleged violation of COVID-19 guidelines by the markaz management. 

The police recently had filed an application in the case urging the high court to direct the Waqf Board and Banglewali Masjid's management to produce details regarding the ownership of land and building plan approved for construction of the mosque situated at Basti Nizamuddin. In a case of obvious overreach, deputy Commissioner of Police Rohit Meena in the application had also asked the court to direct the Delhi Waqf Board and mosque management to produce the copy of sanction plan in relation to Banglewali Masjid.

The police had argued that neither the Waqf Board nor the mosque management, which is an applicant in the case, have produced any document to prove the that the property in Basti Hazrat Nizamuddin is a waqf property registered under the provisions of Waqf Act and that it has been vested with the management, which is registered as a mutawalli or under any other capacity. 

Contending that the Waqf Board cannot maintain a "petition to claim possession" of an "alleged waqf property" which has been legally given to any mutawali for admission and possession, the police had said that only upon termination of mutawali as per provisions of the law, the board can regain any right of direct management. 

"It has also not produced the register as contemplated under Section 37 of the Waqf Act, inter-alia, giving the name of the mutawalli or his successor to the said property," the application stated. 

The court today disposed of the petition after the police said it would not have any objection to handover the keys to Maulana Saad. Senior Advocate Sanjoy Ghose and Delhi Waqf Board Standing Counsel Wajeeh Shafiq represented the petitioner. Advocate Fuzail Ahmad Ayyubi represented the applicant, mosque management. Advocate Rajat Nair represented the Delhi Police.

Background

In April 2020, as the country was reeling under the impact of a hastily called ‘national lockdown’, large sections of the electronic media, especially television channels and social media handles were busy spewing hatred against India’s Muslims. The target was a previously sanctioned (authorities being the Delhi police under the Indian Home Ministry) permission to hold a two day international religious gathering in mid-March 2020 by the Tableeghi Jamaat. While several outfits and bodies, including political figures and majority religious gatherings continued unabated after the declaration of Covid-19 as a pandemic, it was this event that was singled out for a mass campaign.

Through this, only Muslims were being ostracized, beaten and even killed amid the pandemic. They’re being accused of spreading ‘Corona Jihad’ and being called ‘Super Spreaders’. Why are the scales tilted in the favour of the majority when they were equally at fault for flouting norms laid down by the government? Why was a medical issue turned into a religious one? And why did the media not show the other side of the story?

Sabrangindia has reported extensively on this rabid bias apparent in largescale hate-letting by the media. We had asked then, Covid-19: Was Tablighi Jamaat event the only mass gathering leading up to the lockdown? -Are Indian Muslims being selectively targeted despite the fact that gatherings and events were organised by people of different faiths?

High Courts Quash FIRs

By August 2020, several High Courts had quashed politically motivated FIRs against many of those who attended these gatherings.  In August 2020, the Aurangabad bench of Bombay High Court has fallen in line with the high courts of Karnataka, Allahabad and Madras in letting off members of Tablighi Jamaat either on bail or by quashing FIRs against them. However, it was the Bombay High Court (Aurangabad bench) which was the first high court to have called out the blatant communalism and the way the entire incident was handled by the government, the police and the media.

In its 58-page judgment, dated August 21, the bench comprising Justices MG Sewlikar and TV Nalawade, was related to three FIRs filed at Ahmednagar police stations against a total of 29 foreign nationals and 6 Indians. The FIRs were similar in the circumstances under which the accused were charged. They were all found in mosques, stranded and hence given shelter by the mosque trustees/management.

The petitioners, mainly foreign nationals, had contended that they came to India on valid visas issued by the Government of India and they have come to experience Indian culture, tradition, hospitality and Indian food. They had even informed the District Superintendent of Police, Ahmednagar about their arrival. They were just given shelter in the mosques as they were unable to go and live anywhere else due to lockdown restrictions.

Were visa conditions violated?

The contention of the police was that the petitioners were preaching Islam and despite orders dated March 23, to close religious places, they continued to stay in mosques and “indulged in Tablighi activity”. The police further contended that the petitioners were in violation of the Visa conditions and breached orders issued by the authorities created under Disaster Management Act, 2005.

The court observed that a foreigner may be punished under section 14 of the Foreigners Act if he acts in violation of the conditions of the valid visa. The court said that “the so-called conditions are not in the form of provisions of Act or rules framed under any Act. They are in the form of so called guidelines or at the most executive instructions.”

The court further pointed out that though restrictions are put on the foreigners who come to India on tourist visas to prevent them from engaging in Tablighi activity, there is no restriction on them to visit religious places to attend the normal religious activities like attending religious discourse.

2020: Sabrangindia Listicle of Various events not similarly highlighted by the Media

The coronavirus pandemic in India has infected over 12,000 people in the country and the death toll has crossed 450. In light of this, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba has asked state governments to at once strengthen the surveillance of international air travellers who entered India between January 18 to March 23 as there appeared to be a “gap” between those being monitored for Covid-19 and 15 lakh arrivals during that time, the Economic Times had reported on March 27.

In a letter to all the chief secretaries of States and UTs, Gauba had said that the gap in monitoring of international passengers “may seriously jeopardize the efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19”, given the fact that many of those who have tested positive for the virus have a history of international travel.

"As you are aware, we initiated screening of international incoming passengers at the airports with effect from January 18, 2020. I have been informed that up to March 23, 2020, cumulatively, Bureau Of Immigration has shared details of more than 15 lakh incoming international passengers with the States/UTs for monitoring for COVID-19.

"However, there appears to be a gap between the number of international passengers who need to be monitored by the States/UTs and the actual number of passengers being monitored,” Gauba’s letter read.

If there are so many who can potentially be responsible for the spread of the coronavirus, why is the only the minority community, especially Muslims, who are being targeted for the spread of the virus? It has turned into a vicious cycle of Islamophobia feeding hate, and often targeted and malicious reportage against the community, that in turn further isolates and demonises the community.  

Apart from the Tablighi Jamaat event, which is solely being held responsible for the spike in cases, there were a multitude of gatherings in the country, which went unreported or completely ignored by the mainstream media. And if not unnoticed or unpunished, the people involved were not treated with as much vile discrimination as those who attended the Tablighi Jamaat.

1.  Namaste Trump event – Nearly 100,000 people attended the visit of US President Donald Trump’s visit to Gujarat which took place on February 24. One must remember that the first coronavirus case in the country was detected on January 30. Though the first case in Gujarat was detected almost toward the end of March, the presence of NRIs at the event could be potentially deadly for the population.

2.  Ob Feb 25, thousands of people attended the Maha Shivratri event held by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, Founder, Isha Foundation at Coimbatore. All those people must be tested too.

3.  Out of the 800 people who attended a shraddh ceremony in Madhya Pradesh’s Morena district on March 20. Later, at least 12 people who attended the gathering were tested positive for coronavirus, reported IB Times. Out of these 33 people were put under quarantine, but the number of infected people could have been much higher an administrative officer told the publication.

4.  Singer Kanika Kapoor who returned from her stay in the United Kingdom and was tested positive for the coronavirus, faced massive criticism for allegedly hiding her travel history. After returning from London, she hosted a lavish party which saw the attendance of many people, including political leaders. The singer triggered a massive coronavirus scare among parliamentarians and other prominent figures who had interacted with the singer during these parties before she tested positive. All of them have tested negative for the coronavirus now, NDTV reported. According to a report by Aaj Tak, she met scores of people, putting all of their lives in danger, after her arrival on March 9 till March 20, when she was tested positive.

5.  While the coronavirus pandemic was rising in India, Business Insider reported that a total of 61,652 pilgrims visited the Tirumala temple. Though coronavirus prevention camps were put up at all checkpoints, the number of people tested by the government is unknown.

6.  Despite Covid-19, nearly 1.5 lakh from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu attended the temple festival ‘rathavotsam’ in Kadiri town of Andhra Pradesh in March, reported The News Minute. It is not clear how many have been tested for the coronavirus.

7.  The Indian Express on April 1 reported that around 400 pilgrims who had gone to visit the Mata Vaishno Devi temple, were stranded in Jammu due to the cancellation of train services amid the coronavirus scare. However, the shrine board and Press Information Bureau denied the information saying it had closed the temple to visitors on March 18.

8.  The Uttar Pradesh CM, Yogi Adityanath himself violated the lockdown and social distancing rules after he was seen participating in a pre-dawn religious ceremony in Ayodhya. State officials, however, said proper precautions were taken before the ceremony, which was held to shift the idol of Ram Lalla to a temporary structure inside the Ram Janmabhoomi premises. They said thorough sanitisation of both the premises and the people involved had been ensured before the ceremony, Economic Times reported.

9.  In Telangana, which is one of the worst hit states, Allola Indrakaran Reddy (Minister of Endowments, Law and Environment, Forest) and Puvvada Ajay Kumar (Transport Minister), attended a Ram Navami event, reported ANI.

10.  BJP MLA Masala Jayaram violted lockdown norms and celebrated his birthday with children and over 200 members of the village at Turuvekera in Karnataka’s Tumakuru district.

11.  Not far behind was BJP MLA Dadarao Keche from Wardha who celebrated his birthday amid the lockdown. He claims to be innocent saying he invited only 21 labourers to the party, but alleges his political adversaries took advantage of the situation and spread information about the party resulting in 200 people attending it, reported The Indian Express.

12.  Telangana BJP MLA T Raja Singh was found flouting lockdown rules as he gathered with over 70 people in April on the PM’s 9 PM 9 minutes call to light candles, etc, reported The Hindu.

13.  IAS officer Pallavi Jain Govil was accused of dodging the Covid-19 test and conducting meetings despite testing positive. However, the government denied the same saying she and her family had followed all quarantine norms, reported She The People TV.

14.  Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Sunday attended a marriage ceremony in Belagavi where hundreds had gathered, showing scant regard for the government’s own directive which had banned public events, including marriages, with more than hundred people, due to the coronavirus outbreak.

15.  A village in Chittapur of Kalburgi ,deemed hotspot for #COVID19, violated lockdown restrictions to host Siddhalingeswara chariot festival where hundreds of people gathered. Kalburgi reported the first #COVID19 death in the country. Death toll in district now at 3 with 18 active cases. No media outrage over this was reported.

16.  On Monday, April 13, the Uttar Pradesh government arranged over 20 buses to allegedly ferry 900 pilgrims from South India – Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, back who were stuck in Varanasi, back to their hometowns, reported Dainik Jagran. Varanasi District Magistrate Raj Sharma said that there were 700-800 pilgrims who approached their respective member of parliaments who then approached the Centre which arranged for transport to get them home. According to Free Press Journal, they were tested before they were allowed to board the buses. The departure was reportedly supervised by police officers. 


Related:

Covid-19: Was Tablighi Jamaat event the only mass gathering leading up to the lockdown?

FIR against 4 for attending Tablighi Jamaat

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Taliban 2021

Taliban in Afghanistan: A look back

Communalism Combat had taken a deep dive into the lives of people of Afghanistan under the Taliban regime. Here we reproduce some of our archives documenting the plight of hapless Afghanis, especially women, who suffered the most under the hardline regime.
2020

Milestones 2020

In the year devastated by the Covid 19 Pandemic, India witnessed apathy against some of its most marginalised people and vilification of dissenters by powerful state and non state actors. As 2020 draws to a close, and hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers continue their protest in the bitter North Indian cold. Read how Indians resisted all attempts to snatch away fundamental and constitutional freedoms.
Migrant Diaries

Migrant Diaries

The 2020 COVID pandemic brought to fore the dismal lives that our migrant workers lead. Read these heartbreaking stories of how they lived before the pandemic, how the lockdown changed their lives and what they’re doing now.

Archives