Indian Medical College Principal says Muslims should be injected with coronavirus

Dr Aarti Lalchandani | Facebook

Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in India, Dr. Aarti Lalchandani, the principal of Kanpur’s well-known G.S.V.M. Medical College, has made controversial comments about Muslims by blaming them for spreading the virus.

In an ongoing rant, the principal referred to members of the Tablighi Jamaat as “terrorists” who ‘intentionally’ aided in the spread of the virus, after a few of its members tested positive in a religious gathering. She further says that instead of keeping such patients in isolation wards and “exhausting resources” on them, they should be punished in “solitary confinement” in jails or “sent to jungles and locked up in dungeons.”

Tablighi Jamaat is an Islamic missionary movement that is an off-shoot of the Deobandi movement. Unlike other Islamic sects, it wasn’t attacked that much by India’s far-right because it famously remained apolitical and pacifist.

However, the Jamaat has been attacked by the Hindutva Bharatiya Janata Party (B.J.P.) in recent weeks as its members have been blamed for ‘deliberately’ spreading the virus. Earlier in February, over 200 people were tested positive for COVID-19 from among 4000-odd who had gathered at Delhi’s Nizamuddin Markaz, the Jamaat’s headquarters.

Coming back to the principal’s remarks, when provoked by a journalist whether she would agree if the Jamaat’s members were injected with the virus, she hastily affirmed.

She even accused the provincial Yogi government of ‘sacrificing’ 100 crore people for the sake of 30 crore people, despite the Yogi government being Islamophobic, in what appeared to be communally-laced words. The context of that specific part of the conversation is not clear.

The video that is making the rounds was filmed secretly by one of the journalists, with the few there appearing to support her and because of which she went on ranting. She had previously asked journalists “not to leak the details of the conversation,” remarking, “I hope you are not recording it anywhere.”

While the authenticity of the undated video could not be independently verified, the principal has said she did come out with those remarks and has alleged that the video was made viral by a local journalist for “extortion” and “tenders of the administrative work.”

Former Kanpur MP Subhashini Ali demanded a probe into the video by the district administration. He said that if found valid, the principal should immediately be removed from her post, and an F.I.R. should be lodged against her.

A doctor at a public hospital in Kanpur, India suggests Muslims should be injected with COVID-19.

Posted by CJ Werleman on Monday, 1 June 2020

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