16 April 2020: Rukhsar Perween has to walk a few extra miles to collect her drinking water, amid the on-going lockdown. The Bhatpara municipal water supply tap in her area has been cordoned off by Hindus, and Muslims have been told to get their drinking water from elsewhere. “They say that we are Muslims and hence we can transmit coronavirus to them. They have put up barricades of bamboo and dupatta around the tap. We can’t even dare to enter that spot for water. So, even during the lockdown either me or my sister have to go to a far-off municipal tap to collect drinking water,” said Rukhsar. She is not a resident of UP or Gujarat, from where several videos showing Muslim vendors being told to not enter Hindu areas, have gone viral.
Sharing a similar experience was Zainab Khatoon, a resident of Darba Line in Kankinara. While speaking to eNewsroom, she disclosed, “We don’t have enough stored ration. Hence, we often visit local grocery shops to buy essentials. However, after the Tablighi Jamaat incident, the shopkeeper of other faith, don’t take money from our hands. They have kept a small bowl for us to place the money.” She paused and then added, “They even call us Corona Virus and even say that they will chase us out as they did during the 2019 riots. How can we be called Corona Virus? We are not even allowed to collect water from the same municipality water taps. We are told to go elsewhere.”