Indian Lawyers Forum practising in various Courts in Delhi written to the Press Council and Editors Guild of India expressing their grave concern over the dissemination of fake news about a minority community being targeted for the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country by various sections of the media.
Lawyers Forum comprising organisations including ‘All India Lawyers Union’, ‘Lawyers for Democracy’ and ‘Lawyers for Saving the Constitution’ has, in their letter, urged chairmen and the Government to “strongly deprecate the peddling of such fake news and to issue advisories to all channels and social media groups who are trying to vitiate the atmosphere”. The Ministry of Health has also been urged to “make a clear statement that the Coronavirus has not originated in India and no community can be blamed for this”.
What began with an appreciation for cooperating with the lockdown and distributing food supplies to migrant labourers, the letter then said: “The unfortunate spread of infection, to some persons, consequent to the congregation of persons from different parts of the world at a religious event in the first half of March, is being referred to as “corona jihad”, “Islamic insurrection”, “corona terrorism” and various other hurtful and inflammatory terms against an entire community. The same is without any factual basis, amounts to hate speech and out of fear many victims may go into hiding instead of seeking treatment.”
While referring to the recent order of the Supreme Court deprecating the spread of fake news, the letter further urged the Ministry of Health to “share the road map proposed by the Government of India, after the lockdown to combat COVID-19; and to publicise the State’s medical preparedness”.
The letter was signed by those include women lawyers Senior Advocates Indira Jaising, Geeta Luthra, Kirti Singh, Anuradha Dutt, Anu Narula, Sunita Kapil, Nandita Rao, Ekta Kapil, Ruchi Singh, Radhika Kulluru, Swaty Singh Malik, Warisha Farasat, Arundhati Katju and Fozia Rahman, MM Qayam-Ud-din, Sikander Siddiqui, Aquib, Faisal, MM Kashyap, Sayed Mansor Ali, Arizvi etc.
Lawyers’ have supported the statement.