NEW DELHI: The Valentis Cancer Hospital in Meerut has tendered an apology in another advertisement on Sunday after it came under severe criticism for issuing an advertisement that it will not admit new Muslim patients if they do not provide COVID-19 negative report.
The apology comes after the Uttar Pradesh police filed an FIR against the owner of the hospital, Amit Jain, for publishing the advertisement. He has been booked under Sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 295 (insult to religion) and 505-3 (statements to incite a community) of the Indian Penal Code, a portal reported.
"The advertisement was an appeal to all the people to follow the government guidelines so that everyone stays safe. It has nothing to do with religion. We apologise as some word hurt people's sentiments. The hospital never intended to hurt anyone's sentiments," said Dr Amit Jain, Valentis Cancer Hospital, wrote.
The original advertisement blamed the Tablighi Jamaat -- whose congregation in Delhi last month was seen as a coronavirus hotspot -- for spreading the disease in the country and then set conditions for admitting Muslim patients.
They must get themselves and their attendants tested for coronavirus and bring the report along, it said.
The newspaper advertisement released by the Valentis Cancer Hospital in the Meerut edition of a local daily on Friday also said most Hindus and Jains are “misers”, and asked them to contribute to the prime minister’s fund to help fight coronavirus.
In the second advertisement issued Sunday, the hospital said it apologizes if anyone’s sentiments are even slightly hurt.
“We never had the intention to hurt anyone’s feelings. If anyone from the Hindu, Muslim, Jain, Sikh or Christian community has been hurt, we extend our heartfelt regrets. The new advertisement said the hospital was wrong in calling Hindus and Jains “misers”.
Asked to comment on the controversial advertisement, Meerut’s Chief Medical Officer Raj Kumar told a news agency, “This is certainly wrong and we are sending a notice to the administration of the concerned hospital.” He said further action will be taken after a reply is received from them."