Yogi govt names COVID-19 hotspots after Lucknow mosques

Lucknow: The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has named eight out of 18 coronavirus hotspots in Lucknow after mosques. The exercise has raised concern among Muslims in those areas and drawn flak from opposition parties for allegedly adding communal colour to an illness.

Masjid Ali Jaan Cantonment, Mohammadi Masjid under Wazirganj police station, Phoolbagh Masjid and Nazarbagh Masjid under Kaiserbagh police station, area near Mohmmadiya Masjid under Shahadatganj police station, area near Pir Makka Masjid under Talkatora station, Triveni Nagar, Rajauli Masjid under Gudamba station are all the areas named after mosques.

“The government should be concerned about fighting the disease. It should focus on pinpointing those areas from where more cases are coming. But unable to tackle that it is busy fudging numbers, and to divert people’s attention it is linking it to religious issues so that people won’t focus on the ground situation. It is discriminatory to link the illness to one specific community,” Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu told ThePrint.

“This is nothing but an attempt to create an impression that Muslims are behind the spread of Covid-19. Even today Tablighi Jamaat is shown as the major reason behind the surge in cases. The areas that have been labelled as hotspots include both Muslim and Hindu communities. When areas are not being named after temples or churches, why are they being named after mosques?” asked one resident living in one of the hotspots.

Lucknow-based law professor Abdul Hafiz Gandhi said that the practice of naming hotspots after mosques was being followed only in Uttar Pradesh.

“This is a wrong practice as you are blaming one particular community by naming hotspots after mosques. Are we naming hotspots after any other religious institution? Hotspots are named after areas and this is what is being followed across the country,” Gandhi said.

Meanwhile, the administration has refuted claims that any particular community was being targeted. Officials said the mosques were only named due to the presence of positive cases. Lucknow has so far reported 214 cases, with eight new positive cases reported Friday.