The Wuhan virus pandemic was always going to be a test of resolve for the central government but at the end of the day it all boils down to how the directives of the centre are implemented by the states. The Chief Ministers of nearly all states have been fairly well tested in the one month the country has been under the lockdown and Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath, out of the lot has surpassed all expectations.
Chief Minister of a state with the largest population and a bureaucracy notorious for its laxity, Yogi Adityanath has gone on an overdrive to punish the law-breakers who have created ruckus in the fight against Wuhan virus. Now in a rather ballsy move to punish the perpetrators of state, a UP court opened at 3 AM to convict the Moradabad stone-pelters. On Wednesday a team of health workers and police were attacked in the Haji Neb Masjid area of Moradabad when they went to pick up a suspected COVID-19 patient and his family.
The miscreants were picked up by the police at 3 PM and booked under the NSA by 7 PM. After that, a special court was set up at three o’clock in the morning and all were sent to jail for 14 days judicial custody by 5 in the morning. The swift delivery of justice under the Yogi Adityanath government in the slow hours of Friday means that the state is going hammer and tongs on the criminals.
It’s not the first time, the five-time former MP from Gorakhpur has taken such strong counter-measures–last Sunday Yogi had sent as many as 17 residents of Indonesia and Thailand to Jail in Bahraich district after they had completed their stay in a quarantine centre–for violating the Passport Act and visa norms.
Moreover, the Yogi government is going to take strict action against those who shelter the people of Tablighi Jamaat. Orders in this regard have been issued by the DGP of UP. Furthermore, the Yogi government has ordered the police to find all the hidden Tablighi Jamaat members within 48 hours. He has issued a stern order that if they are not found in the stipulated time, action would be taken against the police, according to a news report.
At a time when a state CM has acted so brilliantly in the wake of a crisis, we have a diametrically opposite CM in the form of Mamata Banerjee who has made a mess of things in the eastern state of West Bengal. The shoddy practices of dealing with the death numbers and the burial of Corona patients has already put the Mamata government in a spot of bother. Moreover, the Bengal government has side-lined questions about the number of Tablighi Jamaat conference attendees entering West Bengal. And when a journalist asked her if the Nizamuddin Markaz attendees had been traced in West Bengal, she said, “Don’t ask such communal questions.”
If Mamata Banerjee really considers tracing Tablighi Jamaat attendees as “communal”, then hundreds of cases could be directly buried in the carpet solely in the garb of secularism.
Yogi Adityanath has set a precedent that the Jamaati’s would not be let off the hook easily and therefore all the state governments need to take a cue out of Yogi’s book of speedy justice and serve the same treatment to the Jamaati’s that have created commotion and broken the laws.
Although putting them behind the bars would be a secondary thing to do, the states first need to come out and openly call a spade for a spade. Instead of referring Tablighi Jamaat’s cases as ‘single source’ or ‘under special operations’—the state CMs that have resorted to such antics need to show some spine. The appeasement politics can be played any other time but now.