Karnataka BJP MP slams Tablighis for ‘spreading’ COVID-19

Bengaluru, April 4 (IANS) Alarmed over the growing number of Tablighi Jamaat returnees testing COVID-19 positive, Shobha Karandlaje, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Karnataka, on Saturday accused them of spreading coronavirus across the country.

“Several Tablighi Jamaat members who attended a congregation at the Nizamuddin Markhaz in Delhi in March fled to other parts of the country, carrying and spreading coronavirus. Many have tested positive,” Karandlaje said at Chikkamagaluru, about 250 km from here.
Of the hundreds of Tablighis who attended the 3-day event on March 13-15, as many as 600, including around 250 from Karnataka, have tested positive and been quarantined.
Terming the Tablighis as “corona jehadis” for staying put at their centre and not reporting to authorities for testing, the BJP lawmaker said one community was not cooperating with the government in fighting the pandemic.
“Some of the community members attacked women health workers in Bengaluru’s northern suburb on April 2 when they went to check if Tablighi returnees had taken the test,” she said.
Of the 391 Tablighi returnees, around 200 were tested. 13 of them have tested positive and the remaining 187 negative.
One of the returnees, however, died early this week at Sira in the Tumakuru district, about 70 km northwest from here.
Five members of the community were arrested for allegedly assaulting health workers, under the mistaken identity that they were enumerators for the National Register of Census (NRC).