Communalising Corona: Plea in SC seeks direction to remove communal hashtags like #coronaJihad,#tablighijamat etc. from social media

A petition was filed in Supreme court of India against the hashtags on social media that are communalizing the Tablighi Jamaat Meeting that was held in Delhi’s Nizamuddin which threatened and blames the entire Muslim community for purposefully spreading the Coronavirus throughout the nation.

Advocate Khaja Aijazuddin who filed the petition, he claimed that hashtags such as #coronajihad, #islamicCoronaVirusJihad, #NizamuddinIdiots, etc.. are linking the entire religion with the pandemic which is opposite to the guidelines or advisory from 18.03.2020 by WHO  ( World Health Organization. On the other side, it is contrary to the laws prevailing in the territorial jurisdiction of India, insulting religion and hurting the feelings of its community and disturbing countries communal harmony.

From 13th March 2020 to 15th March 2020 at Delhi, a Religious Congregation was conducted by the Tablighi Jamat at Nizamuddin, Delhi. where Scholars and attendees had arrived from across the World and from different states of India and the Organisers had housed them by providing necessary day to day facilities. This was submitted by the Petitioner, an advocate practising at the Telangana High Court. He states that after the meeting around 20th March, the COVID-19 started spreading at a mass level so there was a “Janta curfew” on  22nd March and later on 24th March lockdown was announced till 14th April.

After all the people who have attended the Delhi meet at Nizamuddin went to their respective states the number of positive cases of COVID-19 increased. After the massive publicity given by the media that many of the positive cases of COVID-19 were found from Tablighi Jamaat at Nizamuddin, Delhi, there was massive trending on Twitter attaching the religion to the disease of coronavirus”, the petition read.

On 18/03/2020 guidelines were issued by WHO which states that “religion shall not be attached with the pandemic”. The petitioner requested that action should be taken against such trends according to the Rule of Law. The petitioner has prayed for a direction to the Centre and to the Telangana police to “stop the illegal trending attaching the religion to the pandemic disease”. It is also stated that online social media networks or sites be restrained from carrying any messages hurting or insulting the feelings of the particular community”