In defence of a Muslim security guard, who tested negative for Coronavirus

Representation Image / Reuters

They are said to have used the man employed as a security guard for household chores, as upper crust residents of tony neighbourhoods are sure to do. He would have also been asked to bring the groceries inside the house. Perhaps run other errands every now and then. He was their security guard sure, but hey, a few chores here and there are ok right? After all they pay him well… or so we hope. So how did this man Friday end up being accused of bringing the dreaded Coronavirus into their Defence Colony residence? Easy, he was poor, he was Muslim. They did not need any other reason before accusing him of attending the Tablighi Jamaat event, and bringing the Coronavirus contamination back to their home when he came to do their bidding as an employee. Their accusation was backed by the usual bigot brigade ready to spread hate and fake news over WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and any other way they possibly could. Many media houses also reported the family’s version.

Not sure if anyone asked how the family, now with more than one Covid positive person, knew their security guard was attending the Tablighi Jamaat Markaz at Nizamuddin, one of the largest COVID-19 hotspots in the country. Did he tell them he had registered for the event? Had they given him leave during the days of the Markaz event? How did they know for sure he was at the event? Oh wait! He is a Muslim.

On April 16, NDTV flashed that the guard had tested negative and was never a carrier of the Coronavirus. However, the damage was done long ago. To the guard’s dignity, safety, social security, as the previous allegations had made him out to be a criminal. It was also alleged that he was ‘missing’ once the family had accused him of being a  criminal. He is a victim here, of malicious intent, of hate speech against a Muslim. His is a tragedy as real as that of the employers family who lost their elder to Covid19. The patient, a man in his eighties, had died on April 15, succumbing to complications arising from Covid19 at Max Hospital Saket. 

According to news reports the victim’s wife, who is in her 70s and their son have also tested positive for the virus. The victim’s grandson had returned from abroad, however news reports state that according to the police, “he had completed his mandatory quarantine period and also tested negative for the virus”. All other members of the family, and their contacts have also tested negative. 

This is a good place to reming readers that the Muslim securuty guard who the family had blamed had tested negative too.

So sure, and convincing was the family when they told the police they were convinced that the guard was the point of infection, that the Delhi Police filed an FIR against him based on their complaint. According to news reports the guard “went missing after April 3.”  But was tracked down by the police who booked him, and he was also tested according to Coronavirus protocol. 

According to Indian Express Delhi Police filed an FIR under sections of ““negligent, and malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life” and disobedience.” The IE report had on record DCP (South) Atul Kumar Thakur who said, “Ever since the three members of the family were hospitalised after they tested positive, the guard of the house has been missing. We inquired and found out through local sources that he had visited the Nizamuddin Markaz. An FIR under sections 188, 269 and 270 of the IPC has been registered against him.”

It was reported that the Delhi Police also asked residents of the posh Defence Colony to be more “vigilant about domestic help, drivers and security guards”. The rich residential colony probably has as many ‘staffers’ as it has residents. It is now known how many continue to be called to work by their employers even though the national lockdown has now been extended to May 3.

Defence Colony RWA President Major Ranjit Singh is quoted by IANS: “There are many houses in Defence Colony which are under surveillance. But this is the only house where people tested positive. While others from the family recovered, the eldest one could not. However, we are taking all precautions here. Thermal sensors have been given to our guards and sanitisation of the house has taken place. Our only concern remains a buzz that a local homeopathy hospital may be turned into a Covid-19 hospital.”

The media played its part in the misinformation that has resulted in making Muslims easy targets of hate, bigotry and social boycott. News agency IANS is cited as reporting: “The senior citizen tested positive with the deadly virus after he came in contact with their security guard who visually looked healthy, but was actually affected with the virus ever since he attended the Tablighi Jamaat event in mid March which is now regarded as one of the epicentres of virus transmission.”  

On Thursday April 16, As NDTV broke the news of the Muslim guard testing negative, many questioned their own previous report that was headlined: “Coronavirus: Elderly Man Dies Of COVID-19, Family Blames Guard Who Allegedly Visited Delhi Mosque” 

As former journalist Nagendar Sharma posted: “The guard does not access to the media, his employer blamed him & entire media ran the story without even doing basic due diligence since his name made him an obvious scapegoat & media knew he could never hit back”



The news of the guard testing negative for Coronavirus, broke online, it set forth another set of discussions. Only that the Muslim guard himself would not have known then that he would now be absolved of a ‘crime’ he never committed. 


Teenaged food delivery agent tests Covid-19 positive in Delhi

These people are not like you and me: BJP MLA Krushna Khopde on Muslims

Communalisation of a pandemic: Delhi police on an arresting spree even as COVID 19 lock down is extended




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