- 6 of Islamic sect charged under National Security Act
- They violated coronavirus precautions: Hospital
- Search on for other members who travelled across country
Some members of the Islamic missionary sect Tablighi Jamaat, which organised a religious gathering in Delhi linked to hundreds of coronavirus cases, face charges under the National Security Act (NSA) after allegations of assault on nurses and obscene behavior at a hospital in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. Describing them as "enemies of humanity", Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath ordered charges under the tough law that allows detention without charges for up to a year.
"They will not follow the law, nor will they accept order. They are the enemies of humanity, what they have done with women healthcare providers is a heinous crime. We are invoking the National Security Act against them, we will not spare them," Yogi Adityanath said.
"An incident like Indore where doctors were attacked should not be seen anywhere in the state. For this, we will take whatever action is required by law," he said.
The Tablighi members, quarantined at Ghaziabad's MMG Hospital, have been accused of endangering staff by violating coronavirus precautions. They passed lewd comments, roamed about without clothes in the isolation ward, used expletives, refused medicine and kept asking for beedis and cigarettes, according to a written complaint to the police by the Chief Medical Officer of the hospital.
In Ghaziabad, officials have tracked down 136 who attended the religious gathering last month at Markaz Nizamuddin, the Delhi headquarters of Tablighi Jamaat, which is a major coronavirus hotspot linked to nearly 650 cases and 12 deaths. Six of them had symptoms of coronavirus and were admitted to MMG hospital on March 31. One tested positive.
"Our nurses and paramedical staff have complained about obscene behavior by these patients," Ravindra Singh, the chief medical officer of the hospital told NDTV.
"My staff complained many times, I spoke to the patients but they refused to listen. Finally our staff said they cannot work under such circumstances, we were compelled to send a written complaint to the police," he said.
An FIR or First Information Report charges the Tablighi members with assault or criminal force on women, obscenity and "malignant behavior likely to spread infection".
Several states are tracking down members of the group, who travelled across the country in the middle of the coronavirus crisis, violating all social distancing guidelines and escalating worries of COVID-19.
There are over 2,300 coronavirus cases in India, including 56 deaths.