Video Producer: Hera Khan
Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma
As COVID spread across the country, so did hatred, fake news and propaganda.
The Union Home Ministry had said the Tablighi Jamaat gathering in Delhi’s Nizamuddin locality in March led to the spread of coronavirus infection. Its members were accused of being 'super spreaders', with terms like 'Corona Jihad' creating a lot of noise.
However, a Delhi court on Tuesday, 15 December, acquitted 36 foreigners who were facing trial for allegedly flouting COVID-19 and visa norms whilst attending the event, which had around 9,000 participants.
In light of these incidents, The Quint's Shadab Moizee asks hatemongers and those who spread fake news and propaganda – Janab, Aise Kaise?
Take a look at the derogatory claims made by renowned journalists and news channels of the country, before the court had served its verdict.
These are just few of the tweets which managed to spread hatred without any evidence.
News headlines like "Nizamuddin ka Villain Kaun?", "Jamata se Corona Phailane ki Inside Story" added fuel to the fire.
Even Delhi's AAP government compiled a separate press release of COVID positive patients related to the Tablighi Jamaat. However, after objections from the Delhi Minorities Commission, they started calling it “special operations".
However, on hearing the verdict, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Arun Kumar Garg acquitted 36 foreign nationals of all charges. The court said:
“It is ‘reasonably probable’ that none of them was present at Markaz during the relevant period and they had been picked up from different places so as to maliciously prosecute them.”
Earlier, the Bombay High Court had also spoken about the "virtual persecution of against these foreigners".
Why is media silent now when the Jamaatis have all been acquitted? There is neither any debate nor a special column by the government.
Therefore, before believing lies, hatred and deceit, we must ask – Janab, Aise Kaise?
(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)