The Saharanpur police have put out a statement refuting media reports that members of the Tablighi Jamaat asked for non-vegetarian food and defecated in the open inside a quarantine facility in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur.
The appeared on the front page of the national daily Amar Ujala on April 5, 2020. It was also shared on the paper’s official page on Facebook, where it received more than 4,000 likes and shares.
“After Uttar Pradesh’s Bijnor, a new case of Jamaatis has also come to light in Saharanpur. When they did not get non-vegetarian food, the Jamaatis here threw away the food and defecated in the open,” claimed the Amar Ujala report.
The report cited a similar incident that it alleged had happened at a quarantine facility in Bijnor.
The report cites Sub Divisional Magistrate SN Sharma as the source of the information. “SDM SN Sharma, SMI Irfan Ahmed, along with other police officers, arrived at the facility and pacified the Jamaatis. They were told clearly that only food prescribed by the government will be served. If they repeat their behaviour, strict legal action will be taken.”
A local media outlet, News 1 India, picked up the Saharanpur story and shared it on Twitter, adding that it was mutton biryani that members of the Tablighi Jamaat desired.
The Saharanpur police used its official Twitter account to reply to the tweet with a statement that the claims of the media outlets were investigated and found to be “wrong and untrue”.
In the past few days, there have been similar media reports of members of the Tablighi Jamaat allegedly misbehaving with staff at quarantine facilities in Agra, Kanpur and Ghaziabad as well.