Coronavirus | Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot for probe to fix responsibility for Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. File

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. File   | Photo Credit: Rohit Jain Paras

Rajasthan CM favours phase-wise lifting of lockdown in coordination with Centre

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday demanded a judicial inquiry to fix responsibility for the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi and asserted that his government favoured a phase-wise lifting of the three-week lockdown in coordination with the Union government.

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Addressing a press conference through videoconferencing, Mr. Gehlot said Rajasthan would start rapid testing within a week as his government had ordered 10 lakh testing kits from China that were expected soon.

He admitted that though it was not easy to keep people indoors for 21 days and economic activity had come to a grinding halt, it was important that ‘no step is taken that would endanger lives’.

“We cannot withdraw lockdown immediately. It has to be done in a phased manner, that is what I feel,” Mr. Gehlot said, adding that his government would take a coordinated decision with the Centre on lifting the lockdown.

Also read | Officials of Tablighi Jamaat charged with defying restrictions

Two task forces

The Chief Minister said his government had set up two task forces that would go into various challenges posed by COVID-19 and a final decision would be taken only after they submitted their recommendations.

Mr. Gehlot claimed that his State effectively showed how to contain the virus spread through aggressive steps taken in Bhilwara, an early hotspot, and now the same ‘Bhilwara model’ was being replicated across Rajasthan, including Ramganj, Jaipur.

Also read | Muslims should not be blamed for spread of coronavirus: Omar Abdullah

The Chief Minister said the district administration reached out to lakhs of households in Bhilwara and conducted widespread testing there.

Asked about the role of the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area becoming a super carrier, Mr. Gehlot said a sitting or retired judge of the Supreme Court should probe the matter.

Watch | Your COVID-19 queries answered

“An inquiry by a sitting or retired Supreme Court judge should be conducted in the Nizamuddin episode to make clear who all are responsible. Those who are at fault should be booked and punished. It will also make clear whether there was any mistake on part of the administration,” he said.

“The truth should come out as the issue has drawn global attention. And it is being used to create an atmosphere that is not right under present circumstances,” Mr. Gehlot added.

Also read | Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India

Congress communication chief Randeep Surjewala, who also addressed the press conference, said the party was not against action against Tablighi Jamaat in Nizamuddin if they violated any rules.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 8:07:15 PM |

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