Tamil Nadu which was least at risk from foreign travellers, has now become a potential COVID-19 hotspot zone due to the unruly and callous Tablighi Jamaatis

Wantonly disobeying laws of the state, taking law into hand, non-cooperation by Muslims, alleged bio-jihad by Tablighi Jamaat members seems to be having a cascading and irreversible impact on the operations against the Corona virus in the country more particularly in Tamil Nadu. Leaving aside the numbers affected due to Tablighi Jamaatis, the Covid 19 cases in Tamil Nadu would have been in single digits.

The Tablighi Jamaat (TJ) members from Nizamuddin Masjid Markaz infected Tamil Nadu when they returned to Erode, Salem, Madurai , Ambur , Kancheepuram and other towns. The first Corona death in TN was a Madurai based Muslim ,who has interacted with the preachers group. Following this, the state government, police, health personnel came out of their slumber to understand the alleged bio-jihad. Like locking the stable door after the horse has bolted, they visited the mosques and asked the local Muslims and foreign nationals for Covid-19 check up. To their surprise most of them tested positive and many had also taken part in a similar TJ congregation in Malaysia held between Feb 27 and March 1.

Organiser was the first to report that a Tablighi Jamaat group had been touring all over the country and its intentions were suspicious with more and more Muslims who came in contact with them being tested positive for the deadly COVID-19. It was also a failure on the part of state and central intelligence agencies in not keeping them under radar for violation of visa regulations.

It was a tricky and herculean task for the police and health department personnel Tamil Nadu. They had a tough time identifying the people who took part in the TJ Markaz. They faced life threatening attacks with Muslims refusing to subject themselves for the tests and quarantine themselves. The suspects wantonly disobeyed lockdown rules and roamed in large numbers and even attacked police if they were stopped.

According to TN health secretary Beela Rajesh,, in the state’s count of coronavirus cases nearly doubled in a single day (April 1), from 67 to 124. She said so far 1,103 of 1,131 people have come for testing. The first case in the cluster tested positive on March 21 when two Thailand nationals were brought to hospital in Perundurai. She said so far samples have been drawn from 658 people from the cluster and 190 who tested positive on April 1st are from 15 districts in Tamil Nadu. Beela Rajesh has appealed to the people who attended the TJ meet to come forward and identify themselves.

“More number of Tamil Nadu residents who attended the conference have tested positive for COVID-19 in Delhi as they did not return back to Tamil Nadu and are being treated there,” briefed Beela Rajesh.

Despite the requests, Muslims did not take it seriously and indulged in defying quarantine and lockdown rules saying, “Allah would save us. CAA is more deadly than Corona. It is a conspiracy to isolate and put us in tents by Modi government.” In Madurai the anti CAA protest by Muslim women is still going on despite the 144 rule. Melapalayam in Tirunelveli district and Kancheepuram town have been totally sealed with bans on both entry and exits.

Journalist Anthathi Krishnan said “It looks like an intelligence failure, the group that has been rusticated all over the world but has been given a red carpet in this country. They have been handled with kid gloves by sending NSA to do negotiation and make them undergo screening. Government has found sleeping and allowed bio jihad to take over during lockdown. It is a mockery of every law abiding tax paying common man.”

Tamil Nadu health minister Vijay Baskar visited hospitals and regularly briefed the media prior to the Corona link to TJ Markaz surfaced, has now become silent. CM Edapadi too is avoiding talking on the subject and has delegated the responsibility to the Chief Secretary and health secretary fearing a backlash from Muslims.

Appeasement of Muslims even during the time of a health crisis and a world-wide Pandemic has cost TN dearly. Many experts have said that the COVID-19 figures for TN would have been in single digits if not for the TJ. The Tamil Nadu government has now issued a GO announcing that the entire state is a potential COVID-19 hotspot zone.