Women health workers screening for COVID19 abused, shooed away in Jaipur’s Muslim-dominated Ramganj

After news of women heath workers and doctors being pelted with stones, abused or brusquely turned away from Muslim localities in Indore, Bengaluru and Pune, comes news of similar treatment being meted out in Jaipur’s Muslim-dominated area Ramganj in the old walled city.

In a video clip aired by news channel Aaj Tak, a group of 4 lady ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers tell the reporter, “They chase us away saying ‘there is no Corona here..because of Allah’s blessing, everything is fine here.’ They say ‘You people are doing NRC, we don’t want to tell you anything.’  When we ask their names, they say their name is Narendra Modi. They are not cooperating at all. They behave very badly & insolently, refuse to answer questions even when police accompanies us. Yesterday, I even got into a scuffle – there was a man who was being very rude even to the police.”

The Aaj Tak report further informs that 3 cases have been lodged in Ramganj against people for misbehaving with  health workers. Now, police personnel are mandatorily accompanying health workers, and a separate control room has been set up in the police station to deal with such cases of misbehaviour with government personnel.

Ramganj is one of those notorious ‘no-go’ or ‘sensitive’ zones, which can be found in most of our cities, where the writ of law enforcement barely runs. In 2017, a minor accident involving a Muslim family and a traffic cop escalated into full blown rioting by a Muslim mob which burnt down a power station and destroyed many vehicles – 1 rioter died and 5 policemen received serious injuries. Last year, Hindu kanwariya pilgrims were pelted with stones in Ramganj. The next day, which also happened to be Muslim festival of Eid, a Muslim mob blocked the Jaipur-Delhi highway and pelted stones on passenger buses injuring dozens.

Ramganj has seen 74 COVID19 cases (data as of 5 April), making it the biggest cluster in Rajasthan along with Bhilwara – the state has a total of 325 cases as of today.

As of March 27, social media users were reporting that people of Ramganj were openly defying the lockdown and attending group namaz, something which the administration in the Congress-ruled state kept denying. Now, the same area has exploded with COVID19 cases.

(Featured Image source: Deccan Herald, representative only)

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