National Conference leader Omar Abdullah on Tuesday said Muslims should not be blamed for the spread of coronavirus in the country.
He was reacting to netizens' response to reports that several people who tested positive for COVID-19 had attended a congregation of Tabligh-e-Jamaat, a Muslim religious organisation, at Nizamuddin in Delhi earlier this month.
"Now the #TablighiJamat will become a convenient excuse for some to vilify Muslims everywhere as if we created & spread #COVID around the world," Abdullah said in a series of tweets.
"At first glance it would appear the #TablighiJamat were nothing if not irresponsible in the way they went about things but that's not unique to them. The majority of Muslims in India have heeded government guidelines and advice the same as anyone else," he added.
Abdullah said those people who were associating the COVID-19 with the Tabligh-e-Jamaat were more dangerous than any virus.
"People tweeting stuff with hashtags like Tablighi virus are more dangerous than any virus nature could ever conjure up because their minds are sick while their bodies may very well be healthy," he said.
Over 2,000 delegates, including from Indonesia and Malaysia, attended the congregation from March 1-15, officials said.
Police and paramilitary personnel cordoned off a major area in Nizamuddin West while over 200 people were kept in isolation in hospitals after several people who took part in the congregation showed symptoms of coronavirus, officials said on Monday.