The Shaheen Bagh blockade that has created a major obstruction in the National Capital since December 15 last year, has now taken an even more obnoxious turn- a public health emergency.
While the entire country and government are busy combating the Wuhan virus, the ‘shernis’ of Shaheen Bagh, as they are described by the Islamist radicals have now decided to continue with the blockade.
Times Now has reported that one faction of protesters has said that batches of 50 protesters have been formed. But what is the guarantee that they will actually restrain the numbers. Remember this is a radical, illegal and faceless agitation that we are talking about.
Shaheen Bagh protesters put protest over people, decide not to end the blockade.
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) March 16, 2020
What this virtually implies is a major public health crisis for Delhi. While Kejriwal government has announced a ban on 50-plus gatherings, who cares for the law when it comes to anti-CAA protests?
Social distancing is the need of the hour, something that Shaheen Bagh blockade is now adamant on violating. With this, Shaheen Bagh now poses a major epidemic threat. Imagine a single Coronavirus infected patient joining the Shaheen Bagh blockade and the next thing we know, Delhi has become another Wuhan.
When an infant died under the burden of Shaheen Bagh blockade, it was hailed by radical Islamists as a Qurbani (sacrifice). Now, if the blockade goes rogue then the same Islamists will justify it as a religious war- a Jihad of a new kind that relies on spreading the Wuhan virus further and Delhi will have to bear its burden.
Meanwhile, Shehla Rashid from the ‘tukde tukde’ gang has extended a veiled threat to the Modi government in a brazen attempt to extort it into withdrawing the CAA in view of the “Coronavirus outbreak” and “mass protests” against the enactment.
It is clear that those who orchestrated the anti-CAA protests see a clear opportunity in the Coronavirus outbreak to strongarm the government, or else they will aggravate the Wuhan virus probably forcing entire localities into quarantines and lockdowns. Remember, last time the anti-CAA agitation went rogue, an IB staffer got stabbed all over his body.
Appeal to the government of India to revoke recent controversial decisions such as CAA, NPR, nationwide NRC, etc. in the wake of Coronavirus outbreak. There are mass protests in the country everywhere due to these decisions, please halt them for now. @narendramodi @AmitShah #nCov
— Shehla Rashid (@Shehla_Rashid) March 16, 2020
Last month, the Shaheen Bagh blockade had caused violent riots in Northeast Delhi. According to a recent MHA report, there are 291 blockades modelled on Shaheen Bagh across India. With Coronavirus outbreak hitting several parts of India and Shaheen Bagh deciding to persist, these protests are a huge disaster waiting to happen.
And also remember Waris Pathan’s threat of “15 crore” being a bigger force than the “100 crore majority population”. Now, in the context of the Coronavirus outbreak, won’t such elements try to use the Pandemic for furthering their goal of “15 crore, 100 crore pe bhari“.
In fact, with hundreds of Shaheen Baghs across India, every major city and not just Delhi are on the danger of a major public health emergency- the kind we might have never seen in our times. Before we know, there could be a major epidemic- all in the name of Qurbani that has already claimed two infants at Shaheen Bagh and more than 50 lives in Northeast Delhi riots.
Folks at Shaheen Bagh should now call off their protest. They have made a point. But public safety must override politics. They can assemble later after the Coronavirus subsides. Refusal to do so is a risk to everyone’s health. If they still don’t move, they should be evicted.
— Rahul Kanwal (@rahulkanwal) March 17, 2020
And then those continuing the Shaheen Bagh blockade amidst the Coronavirus scare will always find a scapegoat. After the Delhi riots, Kapil Mishra was the scapegoat, god forbid, a public health emergency arises they will again impure the entire blame on Kapil Mishra or some other scapegoat.
The Delhi Police and police forces around the country must nip this in the bud because once COVID-19 hits a protest, imagine how humongous a challenge it will be to disperse the protesters without getting infected in the process. As the anti-CAA lobby hatches a sinister conspiracy to use Wuhan virus to meet their nefarious ends, all stringent measures including quarantining entire protest sites, if the need arises, must be taken promptly.