A private cancer hospital in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut, Valentis Cancer Hospital recently issued an advertisement in a local daily, stating that it would no longer be accepting Muslim patients from Muslim-dominated localities in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Uttar Pradesh Police has filed an FIR against the owner of Valentis Hospital over the matter.
The hospital is a medical facility to treat cancer patients, and its decision to exclude Muslims from treatment would be detrimental to the minorities living in western UP. Further, the exclusion of patients on the basis of religion is violative of the Constitution and may lead to penal charges against the hospital authorities.
After the issue came to light, the Meerut Police ordered the Inchaui police station, under whose jurisdiction the hospital falls, to initiate an inquiry into the case.
Here’s the advertisement and UP police reply:
Valentis Hospital in Meerut, India, puts out an ad stating that it will not treat Muslim patients. This is a clear violation of the law, the hospital needs to shut down & owners need to be arrested. Will @Uppolice act? Any update from the @IndianMedAssn?https://t.co/a7fse9ys0J
— Yeh Log ! (@yehlog) April 18, 2020
उपरोक्त प्रकरण के सम्बन्ध में थाना प्रभारी इन्चौली को आवश्यक कार्यवाही हेतु निर्देशित किया गया ।
— MEERUT POLICE (@meerutpolice) April 18, 2020
In its advertisement, the Valentis Hospital referred to the Tablighi Jamaat event held in Delhi’s Nizamuddin locality last month, while announcing a boycott of the Muslim community. The ad states that those Muslims who want to avail treatment at the cancer institute should bring along a certificate which declares them as COVID-19 negative.
In case of medical emergency, medical assistance will be made available on a condition if “patient and the care taker undergo corona infection test after paying 4500/- Rs each”.
The hospital administrator also alleged that “several Muslim patients in the hospital are not co-operating and misbehaving with our staff” referring to alleged incidents attributed to Tableeghi Jamaat members.
The advertisement further added that Muslim professionals, including lawyers, doctors and police officers, living in non-Muslim areas would not be barred from availing the treatment.
The quarter-page advertisement in a famous Hindi daily published on April 17 also described the Jain community as “miserly” and appealed to them to contribute to the PM-CARES Fund. However, a day later, the hospital issued another advertisement in the same paper where it regretted if the first advertisement hurt the feelings of any community.