A priest and 14 police personnel on duty to carry out next week’s religious event to lay the foundation of Ram Temple in Ayodhya have tested positive for COVID-19. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend the event among other dozens of VVIPs.
According to a report by NDTV, Pradeep Das, the assistant to the chief priest in Ayodhya, said that he had tested positive for coronavirus. 14 police personnel deployed at the Ram Janmabhoomi complex too have tested positive for COVID-19.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had visited the area last week to review the preparation for the 5 August event. Many prominent personalities have urged the government to cancel the physical gathering on 5 August amidst rising cases of COVID-19 in Uttar Pradesh. But the government headed by the BJP appears hell-bent on holding the gathering even at the risk of spreading the deadly virus.
The BJP and TV channels funded by the saffron party and the Delhi government had run a sustained campaign to malign the Muslim community by promoting Islamophobia when an Islamic organisation, Tablighi Jamaat, was found to be flouting social distancing norms in March.
Today, India is reporting 50,000 positive coronavirus cases every day with the country destined to surpass Brazil to become the second worst-hit nation in the world. But, the government’s lackadaisical attitude has risked the health of millions of Indians. The silence of TV channels, often ridiculed as lapdog media, has not surprised many though.