West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today slammed those doing "communal politics" over the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi's Nizamuddin and asked them to abstain from it at a time of national crisis.
Thousands of people across the country and abroad had attended the religious event between March 13 and 15 after the Delhi government had promulgated orders prohibiting gatherings of more than 200 people. Many of the attendees later tested positive for COVID-19 and several of them died.
Questioning why the event was not stopped when it happened last month, Ms Banerjee said her government took steps to send around 200 Tablighi Jamaat members to quarantine, including 108 foreigners.
"We have been witnessing that some people are indulging in communal politics over the Nizamuddin event. This is completely unacceptable. A pandemic or a disease doesn't attack you on the basis of your religion or caste. I urge everybody not to communalise the crisis," Ms Banerjee told reporters in Kolkata.
"Why the gathering was not stopped when it was happening? Now a lot of things are being said. This is not right. We should not forget that a riot happened in Delhi just days before the lockdown was announced. This is not the time for communal politics," she said.
On reports about the possibility of the 21-day nationwide lockdown getting extended, Ms Banerjee said she is not aware of any such proposal as of now.
"I am not aware of it as of now. Whenever I speak with the prime minister, I will give my opinion. I won''t speak on this issue before that," she said.