A top Uttar Pradesh doctor, the principal of one of the biggest government hospitals in Kanpur, has been caught on camera apparently referring to members of the Islamic sect "Tablighi Jamaat" as terrorists and saying they should be sent to jail or to 'jungles and dungeons' instead of hospitals.
Aarti Lalchandani is the principal of Kanpur's Ganesh Shankar Vidhyarthi Medical College. In April, her hospital administration had gone on record to allege misbehavior by members of Tablighi Jamaat, who attended a gathering in March in violation of virus precautions and were linked to a spurt in COVID-19 cases across India. The hospital had alleged that members of the sect were quarantined at the hospital were prone to spitting randomly and also "breaking all norms of social distancing".
A five-minute video sting, reportedly shot by a city journalist around the same time, shows Dr Lalchandani ranting against members of the sect and apparently, the Muslim community at large. "We are giving VIP treatment to terrorists, so many doctors are in quarantine because of them. The Chief Minister (Yogi Adityanath) is following a policy of appeasement by admitting these people to hospital. They should be jailed," the woman, said to be Dr Lalchandani, says in the two-month old video.
At another point in the video, the woman says: "Send them to jungles, throw them in dungeons. Because of these 30 crores, 100 crores are suffering. There is a financial emergency because of them."
Facing outrage over the video, Dr Lalchandani claimed to the media the clip was morphed. "At the time my statements were taken under pressure and this recording is a sting done by superimposition, morphing and some people have tried to disturb the peace here. I did not take any community's name but I am particularly fond of that community and I could give my life for them," Dr Lalchandani said.
Kanpur-based activist and former MP Subhashini Ali called for strict action on the video. "This is unconstitutional and uncalled for language. This video should be investigated and if it is found to be genuine, there should be a case against her," said Ms Ali, a CPI(M) Politburo member.