‘Janata Curfew’ successful in Nagaland; few churches hold services

‘Janata Curfew’ successful in Nagaland; few churches hold services
(L-R) A deserted look of the busy NL road in Dimapur, Old NLA hostel Jn. in Kohima & Kiphire during the ‘Janata Curfew’ and the gate of Mokokchung Town Baptist Church remains closed on Sunday. (NP)
Staff Reporter/Correspondents DIMAPUR/KOHIMA/MOKOKCHUNG, MAR 22 (NPN) | Publish Date: 3/22/2020 1:56:45 PM IST

The ‘Janata Curfew’ elicited near-total response in Nagaland when most stated indoord though a few churches continued to conduct Sunday worship with thin attendance. People stayed indoors during the duration of the curfew between 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

In Dimapur, a good number of people attended church services while restaurants and pharmacies, remained closed and traffic was almost nil. Modi had on March 19 urged all citizens to voluntarily remain indoors on Sunday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. as part of a measure to prevent spread of COVID-19 from progressing to the potentially dangerous stage 3.

When contacted, several church leaders confirmed that the morning devotional service went on as usual but with a moderate turnout. It was learnt that most churches followed precautionary measures like sanitizing the church before the morning service began, providing hand washing facilities, hand sanitizers and face masks to the congregation.

Most church leaders informed Nagaland Post that they had discouraged the elderly people, mostly those above 70 years, and those who had recent travel history outside Nagaland and students who had come to the community recently after the outbreak of COVID-19 from attending the services, and instead advised them to stay at home and follow the precautionary measures.

Interestingly, despite pharmacies and health services being kept out of the purview of “janata curfew”, most pharmacies across Dimapur town chose to down shutters.

Responding to the Prime Minister’s call to laud the hard works of medical professionals/health workers, sanitation staff, airline crews, delivery persons and media personnel, many came out to their balconies/terraces/windows and clapped hands, beating plates or ringing bells, while in some areas there were people who played gospel music.

In Kohima, citizens chose to remain indoors throughout the day. Churches reported thin attendance, while some churches conducted the service before 7 a.m. There were also some churches who chose to go digital by streaming live to their members. Citizens of Kohima also came together and clapped hands amid the “janta curfew” to honour those in the public services working silently to control the pandemic.

In Mokokchung too, the “janata curfew” was a success as streets remained largely empty with few pedestrians and vehicles on the road compared with other Sundays. 

Even Mokokchung Town Baptist Church remaining closed for the day for devotional service. However, the pastor delivered sermon that was streamed live on YouTube and other social networking sites, besides local cable TV.

Later, chief secretary Temjen Toy acknowledged citizens of the State for responding positively to the call of the Prime Minister for “janata curfew”, adding that such discipline conduct of the people would help in battling the pandemic.

Similarly, other districts like Longleng, Kiphire, Wokha, Zunheboto etc. also observed the janata curfew.


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