Gujarat: Imaginary Fears, Misinformation Reasons Behind Attacks By Muslims On Police And Doctors

Gujarat: Imaginary Fears, Misinformation Reasons Behind Attacks By Muslims On Police And Doctors

by Harshil Mehta - Saturday, April 18, 2020 09:34 PM IST
Gujarat: Imaginary Fears, Misinformation Reasons Behind Attacks By Muslims On Police And DoctorsRepresentative image 
  • A look at what Gujarati media has reported about such fears in ghettos

Ever since the lockdown began in India, one has been reading about attacks on police, doctors and medical staff in various corners of the country.

A couple of days ago, a team of doctors was violently attacked with stones in Moradabad district of Uttar Pradesh. Similarly, on 2 April, health workers were attacked in Indore. There are many other reports about police or health workers being attacked.

Almost all of these attacks have been carried out by Muslim groups.

This makes one wonder about the motivations of these attacks. After reading several reports of these attacks, it emerges that the attacks have a direct correlation with the recent violent protests against CAA and proposed NRC.

Let’s look at some reports from Ahmedabad.

On 10 April, which was a Friday, police officers were attacked by stone-pelters in Gulabnagar area of Juhapura, Ahmedabad, when they went to enforce the lockdown.

Two police officers were injured in the attack and their vehicle too was badly damaged. A total of 22 accused, including the main accused Mehboob, were arrested by the police later.

On 5 April, Gujarati daily Divya Bhaskar had reported that members of the Tablighi Jamaat, admitted in Sola Civil Hospital of Ahmedabad, refused to take any injection or medicine and alleged that the “government wants to kill them.”

After the ruckus, a Muslim doctor was called from Dholka, a small town more than 40 kilometres away from the hospital. The members of Jamaat became ready to get tested or to take medicine only after intervention and explanation by the Muslim doctor.

On 8 April 2020, another Gujarati daily Sandesh, reported that the Ahmedabad police had arrested one Irfan Sabbir Surati from Jamalpur area of the city for spreading rumours around coronavirus.

According to the report, Sabbir wrote on his Facebook profile that a big conspiracy was going on against Muslims.

His post also said that in the name of corona, Muslims have been detained from Muslim areas and false reports against them have been created.

Sabbir reportedly appealed to people to share the post widely in the name of god.

On the same day, the same newspaper also reported that surveyors working for public health purposes faced many difficulties in the walled city of Ahmedabad. The report mentioned rumours of “injections of poison”. The report also mentioned that people gathered in streets and started alleging that surveyors had come there for CAA-NRC. In some areas, registers of surveyors were also torn.

On the same day, Navgujarat Samay reported about the arrest of Asif Beg Mirza, a clerk working in ACP office of K division. On his Facebook timeline, he wrote (as translated), “Welcome to India Corona. To those who demanded papers for their NRC, our God’s NRC has come. Now he will decide who will stay in the world and who will leave the world.”

Then, he shared claim of vaccine for coronavirus.

These are just a few examples of those who have been arrested and reportedly confessed to spreading misinformation. Given that similar attacks on cops and doctors are happening all over India primarily in Muslim ghettos, the government must look into the source of such misinformation as the possible trigger.

Harshil Mehta is a columnist who writes on international relations, diplomacy, and national issues. He tweets @MehHarshil.
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