Kanpur: Even as a video clip showing Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Memorial Medical College Principal referring to Tablighi Jamaat members as "terrorists" went viral, a former Kanpur MP has demanded the woman doctor be removed from the post and a case be registered against her.
On the other hand, Dr Aarti Lalchandani said that she did make the remarks in the initial days of the coronavirus outbreak, but claimed that the video clip was "tampered" with and that she did not refer to any community or target the Muslims as a whole.
"We should not say this, but they are terrorists. And we are providing them VIP treatment, providing them food... exhausting our resources on them," she allegedly said in the video clip, adding that the hospital was "wasting" PPE kits on the Jamaat members.
CPI (M) leader Subhashini Ali, who had earlier been an MP, demanded a probe into the video clip by the district administration. "If found guilty, the Principal should be immediately removed from the post and a FIR lodged against her," said the leader.
In the video clip, Dr Lalchandani can also be seen and heard saying that instead of keeping such patients (Tablighi) in isolation wards and exhausting resources on them, they should be put in solitary confinement in jails or sent to the jungles and locked up in dungeons.
While the authenticity or timing of the undated video clip could not be independently verified, it appears that it was shot secretly by someone and showed Dr Lalchandani making unsavoury remarks seated in a room along with several persons.
She is also heard accusing the BJP government of "appeasement" and criticising it for "exhausting" the state's manpower and resources on treating infected Jamaat members.
She argued that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath should issue an order that no state manpower or resources should be used on the treatment of Jamaat members.
"Those who should be in jail, you are bringing them here for treatment, feeding them, getting others infected, wasting manpower and kits," she is heard saying.
"They should be kept in solitary confinement in jail. You are keeping them in isolation ward," Dr Lalchandani remarks in the clip.
"I said it in anger and frustration. I did not issue any statement. I said this but in those circumstances," she said.
Dr Lalchandani said she was referring to the initial rush of patients to the hospital, including those of Jamaat members in March.
She said she would file a FIR against a reporter who allegedly leaked the conversation videotaped in a sting to "blackmail" her.
She alleged a local journalist had demanded issuance of tenders in his favour and outsourcing of hospital contracts from her.
"He is trying to instigate Muslims and disturb peace in society. Maybe, he is provoking riots," she said.