A viral claim is doing the rounds on social media, saying that the Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot-led Rajasthan government is vaccinating only illegal Rohingya migrants, but not Hindu refugees from Pakistan.
However, The Quint’s WebQoof team found out that the claim is false, as the Rajasthan government started vaccinating all refugees after the high court order on 28 May. And the government was not vaccinating Rohingya Muslims before that.
The claim in Hindi reads, "राजस्थान में पाकिस्तान से जान बचा कर आए हिंदुओं को वैक्सीन नहीं, मुस्लिम आबादी के टीकाकरण के लिए स्पेशल प्रोग्राम. राजस्थान हाई कोर्ट ने पाक विस्थापित हिंदू प्रवासियों का कोरोना वैक्सीनेशन न कराए जाने के लिए राज्य सरकार को फटकार लगाई है !"
(Translation: In Rajasthan, Hindus who came from Pakistan to save their lives, they are not getting vaccines, but there is a special programme for the vaccination of Muslim population. The Rajasthan High Court has reprimanded the state government for not giving vaccination to Hindu migrants.)
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We searched for news reports about the Rajasthan government vaccinating Hindu refugees from Pakistan and came across a news report by Outlook, published on 5 June.
The story mentioned that the Rohingya refugees in Jaipur were not able to get vaccinated because they don’t have an Aadhaar card, though they have a card allotted by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the report said.
As far as the Pakistani Hindu refugees are concerned, they, too, were not getting vaccines in the state due to lack of Aadhaar cards or other prescribed documents, but the state started vaccinating them after the Rajasthan High Court pulled them up on 28 May.
The high court’s order said that Pakistan refugees are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines according to the central government’s Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) that was issued on 6 May.
We spoke to Dr Raghuraj Singh, project director (immunisation) who said that the claim is false and after the high court’s order, the state has started vaccinating all its population, irrespective of them having any documents or not.
“Earlier, there was confusion because of the word ‘citizen’, which indicates Indian citizenship. That is why only Indian citizens were getting vaccinated. However, after the high court’s order on 28 May, we started vaccinating all, which also included Rohingya Muslims and Hindu refugees from Pakistan, who do not possess the prescribed documents, in compliance with the order.”Dr Raghuraj Singh, Project Director (immunisation), Medical and Health Services, Rajasthan
'VACCINATION FOR ALL EVEN WITHOUT DOCUMENTS'
The SOP on 6 May recognised that people without required photo ID proof are vulnerable and vaccination should be extended to them.
We spoke to Tabeenah Anjum, a reporter in Rajasthan, who told us that on 13 May, the Seemant Lok Sangathan, which has been working for the rights of Pakistani Hindu refugees for over 30 years had moved an application before the high court demanding vaccines for 25,000 Pakistani Hindu refugees living in Rajasthan.
Finally after the high court’s order, on 8 June, everyone above 18 years, which included Rohingya Muslims, who also do not possess any documents, started getting vaccinated, Anjum added.
“Pakistani Hindu refugees were still getting vaccinated as some of them had some documents, but there was no office order to get the Rohingya Muslims to get vaccinated, so none got vaccinated. But, the court’s order for Pakistani Hindus really helped because the state then started vaccinating all, which automatically also included the Rohingyas. The vaccination started from 6 June.”Tabeenah Anjum, Outlook Reporter
In one of her reports, Barmer collector Lok Bandhu also told this reporter that following the orders of Rajasthan chief secretary and the health department, they started vaccinating Pakistani Hindu refugees.
Clearly, a misleading claim is being shared online to claim that the Rajasthan government vaccinated Rohingya Muslims but left out Pakistani Hindus.
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