Who is Dr Aarti Lalchandani and why is she in the news?

Arati Lalchandani

Who is Dr Arati Lalchandani and why is she in the news? The Principal of College in UP, Dr Arti Lalchandani has been accused of Islamophobic statements and she purportedly referred to Tablighi Jamaat members as “terrorists”.

Indian Muslims for Progress and Reform (IMPAR) collective wrote a letter to Union Health Minister Dr. Harshvardhan alleging that she made statements such as Tablighis are ‘terrorists’ and sought for muslims to go to jail. Social media and youtube has videos that allege she made hurtful comments over a five minute talk.

She has been trending on social media as Muslim community took to twitter with the hashtag #ArrestDrArtiChandani.

NDTV notes that five-minute video sting, reportedly shot by a city journalist shows Dr Lalchandani “ranting against members of the Tablighi sect and apparently, the Muslim community at large.” At one point in the video, the report notes that the woman says: “Send them to jungles, throw them in dungeons. Because of these 30 crores, 100 crores are suffering. There is a financial emergency because of them.”

Lalchandani is the principal of Kanpur’s Ganesh Shankar Vidhyarthi Medical College. She allegedly argues in the video that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath should issue an order that no state manpower or resources should be used on the treatment of Jamaat members. “Those who should be in jail, you are bringing them here for treatment, feeding them, getting others infected, wasting manpower and kits,” she is heard saying.

Dr Arati Lalchandani said that she did make the remarks in the initial days of the coronavirus outbreak, but claimed that the video clip was “tampered” with and that she did not refer to any community or target the Muslims as a whole.

Executive director of IMPAR Khalid Mahmood Ansari wrote a letter to Union Health Minister stating that the doctor tried to destroy communal harmony and defame a particular community.  “I would like to request you to kindly direct MCI to consider the cancellation of her Medical Registration and to direct the concerned authority to initiate disciplinary proceeding against her”, he added as per IANS.

Dr Arati Lalchandani must not be confused with Dr Arti Chandani from Symbiosis Pune. Many are using Lalchandani’s truncated spelling as Chandani and adding to some confusion.