By Express News Service
BHOPAL: Undertrial and convicted Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) activists lodged at the Bhopal Central Jail are a divided lot when it comes to taking COVID vaccine jabs.
While five men, including the banned outfit’s head Safdar Nagori have taken the vaccine’s jabs, 23 other alleged members of the same outfit, including the outfit’s self-styled MP head Abu Faisal alias Doctor continue to be resistent to taking the jabs of the same vaccines.
While confirming the development, the Bhopal Central Jail deputy superintendent Priyadarshan Srivastava told The New Indian Express on Monday, “the five SIMI men, including Safdar Nagori, Amaan and Aamir Parvez (all MP natives) and Hafiz and Ahmad Beg (both hailing from Karnataka) have got the jabs like other inmates of the Jail, but the 23 other SIMI men are not ready to take the jabs, either citing religious reasons or else owing to some myths about safety of vaccines.”
Three of the 23 men, who are not willing to take the vaccine jabs hail from Kerela and one from Karnataka.
“We’ve tried to counsel them at all levels to get the jabs and assured them about its safety, but still they aren’t ready for getting the jabs,” the deputy jail superintendent said. It’s only the 23 alleged SIMI men who are housed in the egg shaped high security unit of the jail, who are against vaccination, jail sources added.
Importantly, the COVID vaccination of 43,000 inmates housed in 131 jails in MP, started in April. Since then around 36,000 (83% of the total inmates) have been vaccinated with either one or both doses of the vaccines.
In Bhopal Central Jail also, out of 3400 inmates, barring the 23 SIMI men and some new entrants (new inmates COVID test reports are awaited), all others have been vaccinated with one or two doses. The vaccinated prisoners at the Bhopal Central Jail, includes hundreds of Muslim inmates also, jail sources confided.
The 28 alleged SIMI men are either under trial or else convicted in terror related cases in various parts of the country.