“No iota of evidence”: Another setback to hatemonger TV anchors and Delhi CM Kejriwal as Mumbai court acquits 20 Tablighi Jamaat members

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In another setback to India’s hatemonger TV anchors and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, a Mumbai court has acquitted 20 foreign nationals, all members of the Tablighi Jamaat, of charges of spreading coronavirus and violating lockdown rules.

The order by Andheri Court’s Metropolitan Magistrate RR Khan, according to the Bar and Bench website, read, “There is no iota of evidence with prosecution to show any contravention of order by accused persons beyond all shadow of doubt. There is no legal evidence adduced by prosecution to show that accused persons infringed the notification lawfully made under section 37 of Bombay Police Act.”

On the 20 people charged with spreading coronavirus, 10 were from Indonesia while the remaining 10 hailed from Kyrgyzstan.

Last week, a court in Mumbai’s Bandra had acquitted another 12 Tablighi Jamaat members of charges of spreading coronavirus.

In August this year, the Bombay High Court last week had quashed FIRs filed against the members of the Islamic organisation and made scathing observations against the government and the media for running a sustained campaign to malign Muslims. Days later, netizens had taken to Twitter to trend the hashtag #kejriwal_must_apologize for the role played by the AAP chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in vilifying the Muslim community.

Furious Twitterati had sought to highlight how Kejriwal added a separate category of Delhi Nizamuddin Markaz as one of the key contributors to the spread of COVID-19 in Delhi. Others had said that the Bombay High Court’s landmark judgment was also a serious indictment on Kejriwal’s ‘bigotry.’ Some also pointed out how Kejriwal had ordered the Delhi Police to file an FIR against Tablighi Jamaat members, while remaining a mute spectator against those whose hate speeches triggered the February pogrom, killing 53 people, mostly Muslims.

The court had said in its order, “There was big propaganda in print media & electronic media against the foreigners who had come to Markaz Delhi & an attempt was made to create a picture that these foreigners were responsible for spreading COVID-19 virus in India.”

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