When India aggressively started the fight against COVID-19 by introducing 21 days lockdown, most of us must have thought that it is harsh decision by Modi 2.0 government as number of cases on 23 March were around 500. As India was buckling up and fighting back on 28 March unprecedented event happened when social media started flooding regarding the news of hundreds of probable coronavirus patients inside Nizamuddin Markaz ignoring the appeal by Prime minister, warnings and even official notice by ACP, Lajpat Nagar. After the intervention of NSA, Ajit Doval Police and health authorities on 29 March start taking out people from Markaz and sent them to quarantine facilities. Till 3rd April out of 2301 cases, 647 are related to Markaz which constitutes about 28 percent.
Now, why so many people which include foreigners too who came from infected countries, were inside Markaz can only be answered by Markaz authorities but why Tablighi Jamaat should be under scanner has various reasons. First and foremost is, it took the stature of National Security Advisor to plead before the Maulana Saad to vacate the premises. No one ever of this stature has negotiated directly even with terrorist or in hostile conditions. If we talk about some of the famous in Indian history Phoolan Devi, Paan Singh Tomar or Jagjivan Parihar, state has never negotiated them by sending their topmost official. Even the most notorious bandit Veerapan was not shown any lackadaisical defense like this.
One of the most controversial Operation in Indian history, Operation Bluestar also did not offered any such negotiation or intervention of superior authority. That time, P. V. Narsihma Rao did negotiations but many months before the operation and that too on his conditions and on his turf. He never went to Golden Temple for the negotiations. But in this case, amidst the crisis Tablighi Jamaat forced the state to bring out their topmost to neutralize the situation. Now, reports are coming that many attendees were in direct violation of Visa conditions and were pitching for conversions among masses, which is the another concern to ponder upon.
Tablighi Jamaat is spread in many countries and has been restricted or banned by many too. Let us see some of the prominent members of Jammat who are charged for terrorists activities in various countries. Fred Burton and Scott Stewart, Stratfor’s Security Officers wrote ” The TJ organization also serves as a de facto conduit for Islamist extremists and for groups such as al Qaeda to recruit new members. Significantly, the Tablighi recruits do intersect with the world of radical Islamism when they travel to Pakistan to receive their initial training. We have received reports that once the recruits are in Pakistan, representatives of various radical Islamist groups, such as , the Taliban and al Qaeda, are said to woo them actively — to the point of offering them military training. And some of them accept the offer.” They do add, ” Although the TJ promotes a benign message, the same conservative Islamic values espoused by the Tablighis also are part of jihadist ideology, and so some Muslims attracted to the Tablighi movement are enticed into becoming involved with jihadists.” Many followers have been charged in countries like, Spain, France and United States of America for terror activities. It is claimed that 80 % of terror activities in France were coordinated by members or ex-members of Jamaat. Jamaat has played vital role in Pakistan’s politics in last two decades, from coup in reign of Benazir to grab prominent positions in army and governments too.
Now, the reaction of Jamaat in times of this pandemic has put lot of questions to ponder upon. Was this the conspiracy to spread the virus as weapon of mass destruction so that masses will suffer as reports are suggesting that many patients are not cooperating with health authorities or is it total negligence it must be investigated.
As Jamaat, is the super spreader not only in India but in whole South-East Asia, Indian authorities must take strict action against them and atleast suspend any congregation or gathering by Jamaat till investigation ends. It must be carefully observed that likes of FBI and MI5 have put TJ under scanner from long time, it’s time for India to stop one-way secularism appeasement that is suffocating and also threatening the security of country.