Chennai: Covid-19 recovered woman faces anti-Muslim slurs, local police come for rescue

A 55-year-old Muslim woman was subjected to anti-Muslim after she recovered from coronavirus and was discharged from a private hospital in Chennai.

The woman’s brother AJ Jawad took to Facebook to share the ordeal that his sister had faced in the hands of her neighbours.

“My sister returned home at No.76, AK Swamy Nagar, 1st Street, Chennai-10 and walked into a nightmare. She is all alone at home. Her landlord’s family in the ground floor is helpful. But the problem is my sister and her landlords are facing total social ostracisation. She was abused by one of the residents of the adjacent Arihant Shloka Apartments when she went to the terrace to dry her clothes using communal slurs and she was called a Tableeghi. Her neighbour threatened to throw stones if she didn’t go down from the terrace. She was unable to get provisions or even water,” her brother who is a lawyer too shared on Facebook.

Jawad said that when he called his sister in the morning, she was sobbing uncontrollably at the humiliation she felt when her neighbour abused her.

“I consoled her, reminding her of what happened to no less a person than a doctor who was refused burial in the cemetery. I told her that we are living in a New India, where humanity, empathy and common sense are at a premium. Somewhere along the line India has lost its soul,” he shared the ordeal.

“Fortunately, Ms. Mohana, the Local Sanitary Inspector of the Chennai Corporation, came to the rescue. As soon as I called her, she promptly sent her staff to help my sister, organised water supply and garbage clearance. Kudos to her and heartfelt gratitude,” he added.

Jawad also told media that the Chennai City Police Commissioner AK Viswanathan had called him to express his regret over the incident.

“The Assistant Commissioner of Police also checked on my sister and warned the neighbours from the terrace using a megaphone. He said that strict action will be taken against those who stigmatise COVID-19 patients based on caste, religion etc,” he told TNM.

The woman and her husband tested positive for Covid-19 in the last week of March.

“They are not Tableeghis and no, they did not attend the Tableegh conference in New Delhi. We don’t know how they got it. May be at the provision store, or at his office or at the local airtel office my sister had gone to for changing her SIM just before the lockdown,” Jawad said.

The woman was treated in Apollo Hospital, Vanagaram. She tested negative three times consecutively and was discharged last week. She returned home while her husband was on ventilation but has recovered now and is waiting for the mandatory tests to confirm his negative status. He is still in the hospital.

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