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Coronavirus | Centre concerned over polarisation on religious lines

A volunteer holds a placard to raise awareness about the coronavirus on a street in Chennai on April 8, 2020.   | Photo Credit: AFP

The Centre has expressed serious concern over the “polarising public opinion on religious lines” against the backdrop of a particular community being targeted as being responsible for the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

In a note issued to all States on Tuesday, the Union Government said a sizeable number of non-Muslims was getting a perception that a particular community was not taking the pandemic very seriously and not complying with the lockdown conditions and prohibitory orders.

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This situation was further aggravated by various media projections and social media posts appealing public to refrain from purchasing fruits/vegetables/grocery items from sellers belonging to the said community. This had also triggered a strong resentment against them in northeastern States.

Such targeting of a particular community and its religious organisations would lead to communal polarisation. Strict action should be taken against any person posting fake/provocative posts in the social media, it said. Local community leaders should be called upon to motivate the people for better compliance of the lockdown norms and also to strengthen congenial feelings between the communities.

Referring to recent instances of clashes between the police and Coronavirus-infected persons in Tamil Nadu and Bihar and also “ill-treatment” or “non-cooperation” meted out by a particular community to doctors, nurses and other health workers, the Centre called for adequate safety and security of the healthcare professionals.

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States were told to coordinate with community leaders and persuade Tablighi Jamaat conference returnees to voluntarily come forward for quarantining which “will help clear the shroud of distrust and allegations to a large extent”.

“Following this advisory, we have issued an alert to all concerned to take effective steps to prevent the posting of hate messages that could trigger friction between two groups of people. The Tamil Nadu police has already put in place a model where Tablighi Jamaat has appointed volunteers in all districts to facilitate in identifying and quarantining Delhi returnees along with their family members, close associates etc,” a senior police officer told The Hindu on Wednesday.

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The Tablighi Jamaat volunteers were also coordinating in reaching out to families where women delegates of the Mastooraat Jamaat, including some foreign nationals, stayed during their visit to Tamil Nadu for preaching Islamic values and practices.


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Printable version | Jul 31, 2021 9:34:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/centre-concerned-over-polarisation-on-religious-lines/article31292287.ece

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