15, May 2021 | CJP Team
Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) has moved the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) against Bhartiya Janata Party’s Bengaluru (South) Member of Parliament Tejasvi Surya and three fellow MLAs who attempted to lend a communal spin to the alleged ‘bed-blocking scam’ in Bangalore. They made communal remarks, and allegedly accused only 16 Muslim staff members of the local municipal corporation’s Covid war room of being involved in the hospital bed-blocking scam, out of a total of 214 volunteers.
The video of this inspection in the Covid war room went viral on social media and has invited sharp criticism against Surya and accompanying MLAs Uday Garudachar, Satish Reddy and Ravi Subramanya (who also happens to be Tejasvi Surya’s uncle). CJP’s complaint states how the politicians marched into the war room and questioned the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike’s (BBMP) method of appointing only ‘Muslims’.
The complaint quotes the MLAs asking communal questions lie:
- “Only these (16 volunteers) people are sending applications?”
- “Are you hiring for a corporation or a Madrassa? (a college for Islamic instructions)”
- “How can he (BBMP official) appoint 16 members like a Haj committee?”
The complaint further mentions that Tejasvi Surya too, was suggesting that 16 Muslim volunteers of the BBMP’s south zone unit may be responsible for the lack of beds in the city. Like his uncle, even Surya was heard saying if “they (Muslim volunteers) were recruited for a corporation or a madrasa”.
The parliamentarians alleged that there is some “nexus of BBMP people” where some volunteers deputed in private hospitals, those manning BBMP helplines and bed booking system in-charges as well as certain private hospitals have created artificial scarcity and are consequently denying deserving patients hospital care.
The complaint further states how Tejasvi Surya failed to provide information about how he prepared the list of only 16 staff members who allegedly blocked beds in hospitals for Covid-19 patients. Referring to some media reports (that were annexed to the complaint), CJP has highlighted how Tejasvi Surya pinned the blame on BBMP for making the list of volunteers who were subsequently accused of the scam.
After a probe was launched, all volunteers were suspended but were eventually reinstated as the Bengaluru Police found no evidence against them. But 5 of them are still traumatised to go back to work. CJP has further urged NCM to take cognisance of the fact that BBMP officials have clearly denied their involvement in making such a list, which clearly perpetuates routine Islamophobia.
The complaint lists down the violations under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code against such illegal hate propaganda and bigotry, urging the NCM to hold the guilty accountable.
CJP’s complaint makes three prayers to the NCM:
- Direct the Bengaluru Police to file an FIR against the MP and his fellow MLAs who visited the centre and made such communal remarks
- Monitor the Police investigation against the MLA and his fellow aide under section 9 of the National Commissions for Minorities Act, 1992
- Direct Tejasvi Surya, Uday Garudachar, Satish Reddy and Ravi Subramanya to apologise for their deeply hurtful and offensive comments against the minority community.
The entire complaint dated May 13 may be read here: