A 22-year-old Muslim boy, identified as Mehboob Ali, who had returned to his village in Bawana in northwest Delhi after attending a Tablighi Jamaat conference in Bhopal was allegedly thrashed earlier this week after some people accused him of spreading coronavirus. At least three people have now been arrested in connection with the attack.
The police have confirmed that Mehboob Ali has been admitted to the LNJP Hospital as a COVID-19 suspect. “He is fine and being kept in Corona isolation centre,” the FIR registered in the case read.
It is sufficiently clear from the police FIR that Mehboob Ali was thrashed, not ‘killed’. However, news agency PTI dreamt up that Ali was ‘beaten to death’. Quoting a police officer, PTI reported that the boy was brutally thrashed in the fields and rushed to a hospital by police where he died. Probably the name of the victim did the magic.
Hours later PTI wrote that they had erroneously written that Mehboob Ali was dead.
But till then the damages were done. This news was expeditiously picked up by various media houses. Without verifying details, not one but many news agencies picked the false news extended by PTI.
Mehboob Ali, a resident of Harewali village in Bawana, had gone to Bhopal for a Tablighi Jamaat conference, officials said. He was there for 45 days and returned to the national capital in a truck carrying vegetables.
He got off at the Azadpur vegetable market on Sunday where a medical examination was conducted to check for symptoms of coronavirus. He left for his village after that. When he reached there, a rumour spread that he had plans to spread the coronavirus infection.
He was thrashed in the fields by some people and later rushed to a hospital, a senior police official said. He was admitted to the LNJP Hospital in Delhi as a coronavirus suspect. Ali is stable and doing fine at the isolation centre and there are no coronavirus symptoms till date, police said.
The Tablighi Jamaat’s Nizamuddin Markaz has become a hotspot for coronavirus not only in the national capital but also across the country. Therefore, everyone associated it with are considered as high risk cases of COVID-19.