‘First Muslims, Now Sikhs’: Nanded Pilgrims Face Vilification

The sudden spurt in COVID-19 cases in Punjab has been given a communal spin, with some in the media and social media blaming Sikh pilgrims returning from Nanded. ABP News for instance gave the headline ‘Corona vispot’ (explosion) while talking about the Sikh pilgrims from Nanded who had tested positive. The terror vocabulary being used is similar to how COVID-19 patients from Tablighi Jamaat were labelled as ‘Corona Jihad’.

The vilification campaign against Sikh pilgrims is reported to be underway on social media as well. According to reports, 183 pilgrims who returned from Nanded have tested positive for COVID-19 so far,… However, there are some unanswered questions. According to details provided by the Maharashtra government, there were only three COVID-19 cases in Nanded district. So how can so many pilgrims coming from Huzur Sahib test positive for COVID-19 after their arrival in Punjab? 

Does it mean that they were not properly screened in Maharashtra? Or did they contract the infection on the way? There are reports that the buses in which the pilgrims were being brought stopped at Indore, a major COVID-19 hotspot, on the way.… The Jathedar of the Akal Takht Giani Harpreet Singh has said that this vilification appears to be a conspiracy to malign minority communities.

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