West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday refused to share any information about people from the state who had attended the Tablighi Jamaat event in Delhi last month. The Nizamuddin area of the national capital has emerged a hotspot for the deadly coronavirus after it was found that 2,300 people were staying at Markaz Nizamuddin despite the lockdown. Many of them were tested positive and travelled to different states. The event was attended by nearly 9,000 people between March 1 and 15.
“Don’t ask such communal questions,” Banerjee responded angrily to reporters during a press conference when asked how many attendees of the Nizamuddin event had been traced in the state.
Interestingly, a link of her press conference at the Bengal secretariat was posted on Banerjee’s official Facebook page but the portion containing the question on Tablighi Jamaat and Mamata’s response to it was edited out.
Mamata’s response gave fodder to the Bharatiya Janata Parrty which has accused the Chief Minister of allegedly concealing the coronavirus toll in the state. BJP leader Amit Malviya in a tweet accused Mamata of minority appeasement over the Tablighi Jamaat issue. “Mamata Banerjee when asked for an update on Tablighi cases said, “Don’t ask communal questions.” Jamaat cases have exploded across, but no clarity on the latest numbers in Bengal. How many of them traced and tested. Results? No update at all! Has she made this about vote bank?” he tweeted.
According to the state government data, five people have lost their lives due to the virus while the number of active cases stands at 69. However, the Union Health ministry data puts the total number of cases at 99 including five deaths, with 13 people having recovered.
According to the Union Health Ministry, 5,194 people have been infected by the virus in the country. A total of 773 new cases have been recorded in the last 24 hours. The deadly virus has claimed 124 lives so far.