Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath on Friday ordered invoking the National Security Act against patients belonging to the Tablighi Jamaat who allegedly harassed medical staff while in quarantine in a hospital’s isolation ward in Ghaziabad, NDTV reported.
The outfit is linked to a religious event held at a mosque in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area – which later emerged as a Covid-19 infection hotspot – last month. Several states are still identifying and tracing people who returned after attending the event.
“They [the patients] will not follow the law, nor will they accept orders,” Adityanath said. “They are the enemies of humanity, what they have done with women healthcare providers is a heinous crime. We are invoking the National Security Act against them, we will not spare them.” The Act allows the accused to be detained without trial for three months, a period which can be extended.
The alleged assault occurred at the MMG District Hospital in Ghaziabad where some members of the Tablighi Jamaat were taken for check-ups and testing. A written complaint filed by the hospital’s Chief Medical Officer Ravindra Singh alleged that the members passed lewd comments and harassed the staff. “They roamed around without clothes in the isolation ward and kept asking for beedis and cigarettes,” the complaint said, according to NDTV.
The Tablighi Jamaat members have also been accused of endangering staff by violating coronavirus precautions. “Our nurses and paramedical staff have complained about obscene behaviour by these patients,” Singh said.
The officials in Ghaziabad have so far identified, traced and quarantined 136 people who attended the religious congregation in Nizamuddin last month. However, a report by the Hindustan Times said the number is as high as 156.
Out of these, six were found to have symptoms of the coronavirus and were admitted to the MMG District Hospital on March 31. One of them has tested positive, according to NDTV.
Three persons charged under NSA in Indore
Meanwhile, four men in Indore on Thursday were charged under the National Security Act for allegedly attacking health workers in the Taatpatti Bakal area, PTI reported. A team of five officials of the health department was attacked with stones while they were on duty to quarantine the relatives and other contacts of a Covid-19 patient. Two women doctors were injured in the assault.
The police had arrested seven persons for the alleged attack on Thursday. Four of them have been charged under the National Security Act, an unidentified police official told PTI.
The police arrested six more people in connection with the incident on Friday. Chhatripura police station in-charge Karan Singh Shaktawat said that six other men are also being questioned about their involvement in the assault.
Referring to the assault, Adityanath on Friday said: “An incident like Indore where doctors were attacked should not be seen anywhere in the state. For this, we will take whatever action is required by law.”
Thousands of people had visited the headquarters of the Tablighi Jamaat, which organised the event, in a narrow winding Delhi lane last month, to participate in the religious congregation. As many as seven people – one from Kashmir and six from Telangana – died of Covid-19 in the days following the congregation. About 9,000 Tablighi Jamaat members and their primary contacts have been quarantined, the home ministry said on Thursday.
The Union Health Ministry said there are 2,301 cases so far, and 56 of these people have died. As many as 336 cases have been reported since Thursday morning.