While the Narendra Modi government continues to face criticism over the Ayodhya bhoomi pujan that will begin from August 5, a first-year MBBS student in West Bengal was reportedly beaten up for questioning the focus on the Ram Mandir during a global pandemic.
The Telegraph reported that Amrit Arya, a supporter of SFI, was beaten up, reportedly by people he said were BJP supporters. He had put up a post on Facebook asking whether it was appropriate to hold the ceremony when “thousands are dying of Covid”.
A resident of Tufanganj town in Cooch Behar, Arya studies in the NRS Medical College & Hospital in Kolkata and was in his home town because of the lockdown.
The Telegraph quoted him as saying, “They (BJP supporters) insisted I say sorry...my friend Rakesh Chandra Burman tried to save me (from blows) but was also beaten up.”
Left students held a march in Tufanganj to protest against the alleged assault.
The incident happened on the day that a priest, Pradeep Das, and 14 police officers posted at the Ram Janmabhoomi complex tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The government has been criticised for holding the massive and expensive ceremony while the country is still dealing with a rising number of cases and death toll. India is the third worst-hit country in the world with 16,38,870 cases and fifth highest in terms of death with 35,747 deaths so far.
The ceremony is also happening on the first-year anniversary of the Modi government’s abrogation of Article 370 and division of Jammu & Kashmir into two union territories.
Arya is not the only person to question the government’s priorities during a serious health crisis:
Read the entire report on The Telegraph here.