The President of Hazrat Nizamuddin Village RWA has served a legal notice to Smt Harleen Kaur, the South East Delhi District Magistrate (DM), alleging that the officer was arbitrarily keeping the area sealed as a COVID-19 containment zone for over 65 days.
The notice alleges that the Hazrat Nizamuddin Village, in the National Capital, has been targeted, in pursuance of a deep rooted conspiracy to defame the Muslim community as the area has been sealed since March 30 without evidence of even one positive case of COVID-19 being detected.
"…it has been more than 65 days, Hazrat Nizamuddin Village is arbitrarily being kept by you the addressee under COVID-19 containment zone without any positive case being reported or any justification legal or in terms of the COVID-19 lock down guidelines issued by Govt. of India in this regard which is causing a great hardship to the residents of Hazrat Nizamuddin village, the residents of Hazrat Nizamuddin Village are unable to earn their livelihood or make any movement for their day to day lives and are on verge of starvation and destroying their lives", reads the notice.
It has further been alleged that the heavy deployment of Police and CRPF personnel around the area has been made with the intention to "terrorize the resident Muslim community".
Given this situation, not only are residents and youth of the area losing their jobs during time of financial and physical turmoil, they are also being socially boycotted and targeted as spreaders of Corona virus. This is causing residents great mental, emotional and financial trauma, adds the notice, drafted by Advocate Mehmood Pracha.
The DM has been further accused of locking away a community of 20,000, in support of a political agenda. The scathing notice goes on to state that this is a one-off case where the entire community has been cut off whereas in other areas, only lanes and buildings are sealed even when positive cases are detected.
"…you the addressee in order to support the political agenda of your political masters to defame the Muslim community of 20,000 people in the name of COVID-19 without any justification for the extra ordinary measures which are being resorted to which are even far in excess of the measures announced by the containment zones by Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India which is sheer abuse of power and shows your mala-fide towards the Muslim community and this is only example in Delhi where community of 20,000 people has completely been locked instead in the adjacent and other parts of Delhi, only Streets, lanes, blocks are being sealed where positive cases of COVID-19 are being detected…"
Referring to the Union Health Ministry's guidelines, issued on April 5, regarding containment zones, it is pointed out that if no positive cases are confirmed for 28 days after the last case was isolated, the operations would be scaled down. With regard to the same, it is asserted that after the last detection, all contacts have been followed up for the stipulated time, and the secondary laboratory has not detected any positive case since.
The sealing of the Village is therefore in violation of the law and driven by motives other than what the DM is duty bound to do as a public servant, contends the notice.
The DM has been thus urged to provide evidence that justifies sealing the area, failing which the same should be 'de-sealed'.
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