A message on WhatsApp is making rounds in the midst of Delhi’s Nizamuddin congregation that led to numerous Coronavirus infections among the delegates who attended the religious meeting in Delhi for three days from March 13 to 15.
Here’s the message received on WhatsApp from a user with Whatsapp No. 91-9366563804:
“One muslim man who attended the Delhi congregation (terrorist) and who is affected with the covid 19 has been caught at Byrnihat….2 of his companions who came along with him to spread the virus have escaped and whereabouts are still unknown (these guys escaped from Assam quarantine center so as to spread and fulfill their mission)…….stay safe..stay at home..dnt panic and be alert everyone….. report any suspicious activity to the Police helpline no.” Please check if it’s true or not
In view of the current Coronavirus scare and many cases of Nizamuddin attendees coming under scanner for quarantine drive in the country, Digiteye India checked the veracity of the message with the official statements:
Claim: One muslim man who attended the Delhi congregation (terrorist) and who is affected with the covid 19 has been caught at Byrnihat… 2 of his companions who came along with him to spread the virus have escaped and whereabouts are still unknown (these guys escaped from Assam quarantine center so as to spread and fulfill their mission)”
Truth: The Delhi-based headquarter of Tablighi Jamaat, an evangelical Muslim sect, in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area had held the congregation from March 13 to 15 and more than 200 people from different parts of India and abroad attended it. Here’s what the Government of Telangana said in a public advertisement:
“Coronavirus has spread among some of those who attended a religious prayer meeting from March 13 to 15 at Markaz in Nizamuddin area in Delhi. Among those who attended were some persons from Telangana.”
The claim has two-folds — one is that the particular man who attended was a “terrorist” and another was that the entire Delhi congregation was “terrorist.” Neither of these two references are true as government statements have clearly stated that they went for a prayer meeting.
Claim 2: The man (alleged as terrorist) and his two companions caught at Byrnihat but escaped from Assam quarantine center.
As the local news outlet The Telegraph reported, Byrnihat is screening those entering Meghalaya from Assam border are being screened and the claim that they escaped Assam quarantine holds no truth. Digiteye India team made enquiries with local journalists not far from Byrnihat in the northeastern India and they have refuted the claim.
Claim 3: The WhatsApp message states (these guys escaped from Assam quarantine center so as to spread and fulfill their mission) hinting that they escaped to spread the coronavirus among people to fulfill their mission.
But our team of fact checkers have found that the official statement of the Meghalaya government’s Coronavirus press release clearly stated on April 1, 2020 that none of them returned to Meghalaya. Here’s the government official statement:
Conclusion: The message has been found to be untrue and allegations about escape of people from quarantine are not true. Our rating of the claim is ??? Misrepresentation.