A viral message that the Congress-led Rajasthan government is running special programmes to vaccinate Muslim refugees is doing rounds on social media. It is claimed that Ashok Gehlot's government is not vaccinating the Hindu refugees from Pakistan, for which the Rajasthan High court has reprimanded the state government.
Vijay Shankar Tiwari, the national spokesperson of Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), shared the claim on his Twitter handle. The tweet translates in English as, "In Rajasthan, the Hindus who came from Pakistan saving their lives are not getting vaccines, but special programmes are being conducted to vaccinate Muslim population".
The claim is being widely shared on social media platforms - Twitter and Facebook.
Congress-led Rajasthan government is running special programmes to vaccinate Muslim refugees, whereas Hindu refugees from Pakistan are being denied the same.
The claim is false.
According to Outlook's 5 June report, the Rohingya Muslim refugees in Jaipur were ineligible for vaccination because of the unavailability of an Aadhaar card. However, they have a card allotted by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). On 9 June, Outlook reported that the Hindu refugees from Pakistan were also not getting vaccinated because of not having an Aadhaar card or other prescribed documents. But after the Rajasthan high court's order on 28 May, the state began vaccinating everyone.
The High Court said that according to the central government's Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued on 6 May, the Pakistani refugees are eligible for COVID vaccination. The Quint spoke to the project director (immunisation), Dr Raghuraj Singh, who stated the claim is false. He said that after the high court's order, the state had begun vaccination for the entire population, irrespective of them having any prescribed documents. "Earlier, there was confusion because of the word 'citizen', which indicates Indian citizenship. That is why only Indian citizens were getting vaccinated. However, after the high court's order on 28 May, we started vaccinating all, which also included Rohingya Muslims and Hindu refugees from Pakistan, who do not possess the prescribed documents, in compliance with the order."
While talking to Outlook reporter Tabeenah Anjum, Barmer district collector Lok Bandhu told the reporter that after getting the orders of the Rajasthan chief secretary and the health department, they have started vaccinating Pakistani Hindu refugees.
After Dr Raghuraj Singh's statement, it is clear that the viral claim is false. Rajasthan government is not running any special programme for vaccinating Muslim refugees. Also, the state government has not abandoned the vaccination of Hindu refugees from Pakistan.
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