Lockdown unconstitutional: Owaisi

Hyderabad: All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Monday called the nationwide lockdown– the government’s strategy to combat coronavirus pandemic– as unconstitutional and asked why was the state government of Telangana silent on the matter.

This lockdown is unconstitutional. According to National Disaster Management Act, the Epidemic Act, the Government of India cannot impose lockdown in the whole country; it is against federalism, it is a state subject and I wonder why the State Government is silent,” the AIMIM chief said at an online public meeting.

He further went on to appeal to the people of Malegaon to stay at home amidst the rise in coronavirus cases in the country. “Due to this lockdown, the migrant labourers are suffering, 16 people have died at the Aurangabad accident. I appeal to the citizens of Malegaon, please stay home,” said Owaisi.

The AIMIM chief also urged people to not fear quarantine facilities as it “is for your own good”. “COVID-19 is something that can impact on any human. Do not be afraid of quarantine, it is for your own good. You will be away for 8-10 days which is fine because it is better for you and for the people around you,” urged Owaisi.

He also asked the Chief Minister of Maharashtra to ‘concentrate on the people’ as Maharashtra is the worst-hit state with regard to COVID-19 cases.

Emphasising that people has to be more cautious and adhere to social distancing norms, “I request the Chief Minister of Maharashtra and the officials to concentrate on the people. But more than the officials, it is the public, who has to take care of themselves and maintain the discipline and social distancing,” emphasised Owaisi.

“I appeal to everyone; we have to fight this virus by social distancing and anything that will keep this virus away. Hate the virus, not the people affected by it. Try to help them, have patience. Come forward if you suspect that you have the virus, do not be afraid,” he added.

Speaking about the issue relating to a student from Jamia Millia Islamia who was charged under the Unlawful Activities Preventions Act for protesting against the CAA and NRC, Owaisi asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah whether the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act is only for anybody “who is against the government”.

“In Delhi, a student from Jamia Millia was arrested who was four months pregnant, another girl was also arrested for raising their voice against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Registration of Citizens (NRC), they were charged under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

I ask Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shat that is the UAPA only for Muslims, Dalits, Adivasis or anybody who is against the government. And people who state ‘ Desh Ke Gaddaro Ko’ these people are not even arrested leave about charging UAPA act,” said Owaisi in an online public meeting.

With regard to the communal violence that broke out in Bhainsa in January, he said that the state government must take the matter more seriously. “The incident that happened in Bhainsa will be dealt with by the government. Where there was communal violence, no matter who made a mistake there, I request the Chief Minister of Telangana to take strict action against the people who were at fault,” he urged.

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