Video Producer: Shohini Bose
Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma
After densely packed events such as Holi’s revelry, Kumbh snans, and crowded electoral campaigns were considered to have contributed significantly to the terrifying nationwide surge of COVID-19 cases, a local religious leader’s funeral in Uttar Pradesh’s Badaun, on Sunday, 9 May, has now spiked fears of a super spreader.
The funeral of Abdul Hamid Mohammad Salimul Qadri, was carried out, apparently without any prior knowledge of the local administration, in a state which has banned more than 20 people per funeral, is believed to have been attended by thousands.
As per Hindustan Times, the cleric was revered by people of all faiths.
Abdul Hamid Mohammad Salimul Qadri passed away on Sunday afternoon, following which, as per NDTV, thousands from various parts of the state thronged Badaun, amid the ongoing lockdown. The crowd reportedly gathered at the mosque where the cleric’s body was placed for public viewing.
Aerial visuals of the gathering show people packed snugly together, and as per media reports, few masks were spotted in the impenetrable crowd.
The UP Police has now filed an FIR and launched a probe into the event. How the crowd amassed without the knowledge of the police is still unclear.
Badaun Superintendent of Police Sankalp Sharma, meanwhile, told NDTV:
“Cases have been filed against unknown people under the Epidemics Act. We are watching the video to gather evidence and strict action will be taken against those found violating restrictions.”
Uttar Pradesh on Monday, 10 May, continued its trend of more than 20,000 new COVID-19 cases, underway since the past few days, recording 21,331 fresh cases that took its tally to 15,24,767 while 278 fatalities pushed the death toll to 15,742.