A video has gone viral on social media purportedly showing the principal of Kanpur Medical College referring to Tablighi Jamaat members as “terrorists” and accusing of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for doing “appeasement” politics by providing government healthcare facilities to them.
In the 4 minutes 52 seconds long viral video, the principal identified as Dr Aarti Lalchandani, was purportedly seen interacting with some people, who appear to be journalists. “They are terrorists,” Dr Lalchandani can be heard saying, while allegedly referring to the members of Tablighi Jamaat. The video was shot secretively by one of the person present there.
The authenticity of the undated video could not be independently verified, but it has gone viral and sparked controversy, demanding strict action against the principal in the video for allegedly passing communal slurs against a particular community.
Taking cognisance of the matter, Subhashini Ali, a CPI-M leader and social worker, has demanded an immediate suspension of Dr Lalchandani.
She also demanded for a fair enquiry into the matter and asked for stringent action if the allegations are found to be correct. “The principal should be immediately removed and a case should be registered against her. An impartial enquiry is needed to authenticate the video and if found true then district administration should take strict action against her,” she said.
In the beginning of the video, Dr Lalchandani can be heard allegedly saying, “These people are terrorists and we are giving VIP treatment to them by providing food and water. We are exhausting our resources and manpower on them. We are paying hotel bills and are wasting our kits, food, medicines on them.”
Meanwhile, when asked by a journalist in the video about her future course of action pertaining to Tablighi Jamaat members, she purportedly said, “You people don’t leak it anywhere, but I am planning to speak to Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan. Here, no one will listen, the District Magistrate is doing things as per the orders by the Chief Minister (Yogi Adityanath). The Chief Minister is doing the appeasement.”
Asking journalists “not to leak the details of the conversation”, she further said, “I hope you are not recording it anywhere. Admitting them (Tablighi Jamaat members) to hospitals is appeasement. Those who should be thrown into jails are being admitted to hospitals.”
“They should be thrashed in jails and should be put in solitary confinement instead of being kept in isolation wards,” the principal allegedly said about the members of Tablighi Jamaat.
“Chief Minister Adityanath should issue an order that no resource should be spent on Jamaatis…I even confronted CMO when they asked me that 80 ambulances were engaged in the task. I asked the CMO to send these 22 patients to some jungle and they should be locked in ‘Kaal Kothari’ (dungeons), but my voice was suppressed…appeasement is being done for these 30 crore people at the cost of 100 crore people,” Dr Lalchandani purportedly said.
When contacted by an English daily to comment on the entire controversy, Dr Lalchandani firstly claimed that the video was “morphed” and she did not name any particular community during the conversation.
However, later on, she said that all her remarks went out in frustration. “I said it in anger and frustration. I didn’t issue any statement. I said this but in that circumstance...” she said, claiming that the video was recorded around some 70 days ago.
The principal also alleged that the video was made viral by a local journalist for “extortion” and “tenders of the administrative work”.