The mass exodus of migrant labourers from Delhi is arguably the biggest blow to the nation’s battle against the Wuhan Virus pandemic. How a nation-wide lockdown announced to contain the epidemic was broken right in the nation’s capital is something which needs to be analyzed threadbare. Multiple credible reports have emerged which show a cynical plot to drive migrant labourers from UP and Bihar out of Delhi. Here is the sequence of events –
1.) Delhi’s borders were sealed on Sunday, 22 March itself. That same day, CM Kejriwal announced a complete lockdown of the city-state with public transport coming to a grinding halt from 6 AM on 23rd March. It was said that only 25% DTC buses would operate only for those involved in essential services. So Delhi had announced a full lockdown even before the PM announced the nation-wide lockdown on evening of 24th March.
2.) The very next day, on 23rd March, Kejriwal announced that DTC buses will now operate at 50% capacity instead of 25% earlier. With the whole city on lockdown, was there such a huge spike in demand from essential service providers, or was this the first step in a sinister plan being hatched?
3.) What came next is best described in the words of Kumar Vishwas, an AAP founder member, who was once part of Kejriwal’s inner circle – “First, gather poor & desperate people on the roads by spreading rumours that buses have been arranged to take everyone to their villages. Then announce on twitter, where none of those poor can see your message – ‘Stay here! We will provide food, drink and medicine!’ – to save your face. The whole nation is forced to see this pre-planned cruel tragedy unfold before our eyes”
4.) On the first night of lockdown itself, i.e. 25th March, reports started trickling in of migrant workers, including those with families and little children, walking out of Delhi to return to their native places. By the next day, this trickle had turned into a flood. This was soon picked up by media channels, and the usual suspects started questioning the lockdown itself, rather than demand answers from the state government which was allowing the exodus to take place. Barkha Dutt spoke to some labourers walking on the road, and demanded why we are ‘abandoning millions of our poor’. Not once did she ask why the state government is not providing for the migrants residing in their states, and instead called for the Army to be pressed into service if states (UP) wouldn’t provide transport. Right on cue, Page 3 Bollywood celebrities ‘congratulated‘ Dutt for raising the issue.
4.) On 27th March 8.14 PM, UP CM Yogi Adityanath reminded all states that it was their duty to take care of the UP laborers residing in their respective states, a clear message directed at the Delhi Government.
5.) But the situation was completely out of hand by then and lakhs were amassing on the Delhi-UP border and especially at the Anand Vihar ISBT (Inter State Bus Terminal). Recognizing that Delhi had completely failed to stem the exodus, UP Government quickly swung into action and deployed 1000 buses to transport the migrant laborers. Food and water was provided to people on the spot, and they were taken to hometowns to be health screened and then quarantined in their villages. Arrangements have also started to quarantine more such people in Jaypee Sports City on Yamuna Expressway.
AAP propaganda has already started to deflect the blame on to the Centre and UP Government. So here is a list of evidence and first-hand accounts which will make AAP’s complicity in the #DelhiExodus as clear as the video footage of AAP Councillor Tahir Hussain talking to rioters on his roof top & video evidence of AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan’s hate speeches & AAP MLA Haji Yunus‘ incitement to rioters proved AAP’s complicity in the #DelhiRiots.
- UP laborers who returned from Delhi told Amar Ujala, “Delhi government cut electricity and water supplies in our areas. There was no provision for food and milk during lockdown. Many Delhi officials kept making announcements and spreading rumours that buses are standing on the UP-Delhi border to take people back to UP and Bihar. DTC buses were running which dropped people off at the UP-Delhi border.”
- A migrant labourer walking in middle of night on 28th March carrying a sleeping child, told a reporter “Arvind Kejriwal did not make any arrangements for us – he only helped those with Delhi residency papers.”
- Video footage has emerged which shows announcements being made in dead of night about buses taking people to Anand Vihar bus terminal from where they would get further transportation to native villages.
- Video & photo evidence shows DTC (Delhi Transport Corporation) buses stuffed with labourers running to Anand Vihar bus station and other points on Delhi-UP border.
- Delhi CM Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia have issued contradictory statements – on one hand appealing migrants to stay where they are while also mentioning arrangement of DTC buses to ‘transport them’
- AAP MLA Raghav Chadha further fuelled panic and tried to foment anger against the UP Government by tweeting false information that the UP CM was getting migrant labourers returning to UP beaten up asking them why they went to Delhi to work in the first place. An FIR has now been filed against Chadha.
The central government has demanded an explanation from Kejriwal on why he did not prevent the mass migrant exodus. It has also initiated action against 4 IAS officers in the Delhi Government for their failure to curb the migrant exodus.
As is his wont, Kejriwal has turned to his all-weather-friend, Lutyens’ media, for damage control. Delhi Govt. is splurging money for ads on all major news channels extolling the ‘work done’ by Kejriwal. There are also examples of media outlets deleting or changing their stories which earlier showed Delhi Government in a bad light. Most negative stories about Kejriwal’s apathy, at best, and complicity, at worst, towards this migrant exodus were reportedly stopped from appearing using the Lutyens’ network.
Another trick that appears to have been tried is pre-emptively ‘politicizing’ the issue – pro-AAP Indian Express ran a piece claiming “UP government has accused its counterpart in Delhi of playing ‘cheap politics at a time of crisis and playing with the lives of people of this country.'” But there is absolutely no evidence of any such statement by UP Government, and till date the newspaper has not clarified its source. The aim of this strategy is to get into a slanging match with UP like the one Manish Sisodia attempted on 28th March, thereby reducing the whole issue into just another political ‘I said, you said’ slugfest. The UP CM refused to take the bait and is trying to mitigate the situation best he can.
Kejriwal acolytes just need to look at how other states are handling the crisis, to realise their game is up. Telangana is setting the benchmark for others to follow, with Tamil Nadu and Gujarat also doing their best. Even relatively poor states like Odisha have risen to the challenge of providing for migrant workers in their states. Andhra and Karnataka are working in close cooperation to provide for migrant worker population. But a state which is basically just one large metropolitan area with the largest availability of funds has utterly failed in its duty.
Left-liberals exploiting the plight of poor people walking on roads will not tell you that other states like Odisha, Andhra have all closed their borders even to their own residents to prevent any movement during this critical lockdown. But UP Government now has to deal with lakhs of people, some of whom might well be infected, living in remote villages. God forbid, but if a humanitarian disaster unfolds in UP & Bihar in the coming days, these left-liberals and their blue-eyed boy Kejriwal will have blood on their hands.
Another major blow delivered by Delhi to Bharat’s fight against the Wuhan virus pandemic is the massive cluster of suspected cases from a Tablighi Jamaat (TJ) held in Nizamuddin. The congregation of 2000 people, including around 300 foreigners, took place from 13-15 March at the Nizamuddin Banglewali Markaz mosque. Many then travelled to other parts of the country while 1400 continued to stay in the mosque. At least 75 confirmed COVID19 cases in Telangana, J&K, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Delhi are members of this group or others who came in contact with them. 6 persons who attended the TJ event in Delhi died yesterday in Telangana.
It is to be noted that PM Modi had requested everyone to cancel large events in his address before Holi (which fell on 10th March) itself. Delhi Government had announced a ban on gatherings of 50 or more people on 16th March. So how the Jamaat event was allowed, why the foreigners were not quarantined, and why such a large mass of people was allowed to stay in one place without following social distancing are hard questions which the Delhi Government, Delhi Police, and even the Union Govt. and intelligence agencies must answer.
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