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Coronavirus | Uddhav Thackeray warns against spread of ‘communal virus’

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. File  

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday warned of strict action against persons spreading communally divisive messages on social media amidst rising cases of COVID-19.

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In his address through social media, Mr. Thackeray reiterated that no permission will be granted to religious, political or sporting events in the State till further notice. He also added that lifting of lockdown in the State after April 14 will depend upon the compliance by people to the government directives.

In an apparent reference to hate speech on social media against a Muslim community in the wake of the spike in COVID-19 cases linked to Tablighi Jamaat gathering in Delhi, Mr Thackeray warned of strict action against such persons. “There is another virus of divisiveness apart from the coronavirus. I warn such people that I will ensure that no law will save you,” he said.

Addressing communities other than Hindus, without specifically naming them, the Chief Minister said, “We celebrated Gudhipadwa and Ramnavmi by staying indoors. I am confident that other communities would do the same.”

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The CM said religious leaders, including maulvis, have been in touch with him, and have asked members of their communities to not venture out. Mr Thackeray said that as per a list received from Delhi on the members of Tablighi Jamaat from the state who attended the Nizamuddin congregation last month, all have been quarantined. "If anyone is left out, they should come forward on their own," he said.

Citing the announcement of a similar lockdown in Singapore, Mr Thackeray said: “Countries and religions may be different but the virus is one. The only solution is to stay at home,” he said.

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He said the only solution to tackle the coronavirus crisis lies in staying indoors and maintaining social distance.

“Coronavirus is playing a game of patience with us. There is no dearth of courage, discipline and confidence among people of the state. Self-confidence is important. I have it and I know you have it too. If you have self-confidence then nobody can stop us from emerging victorious,” he said.

Also read | Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India

“I again request citizens to follow discipline and social distancing norms during the lockdown period. Please stay indoors. Don't take undue advantage,” he said, adding that 51 patients have recovered from COVID-19 and discharged in the State.

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Printable version | May 18, 2021 11:40:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-outbreak-uddhav-thackeray-warns-against-spread-of-communal-virus/article31259609.ece

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