Lockdown leaves Nagas at inter-state border helpless

Lockdown leaves Nagas at inter-state border helpless
Inter-State police check point at Dellai Gate. (NP File)
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, APR 8 (NPN) | Publish Date: 4/8/2020 12:21:04 PM IST

After the centre ordered states to seal their borders in compliance with the nationwide 21-day total lockdown, Nagas living in Kania Tokbi basti and Mohon basti in Karbi Anglong (Assam) find themselves isolated as they have been totally dependent upon Dimapur markets for buying essential items including medical and banking facilities.

Some elderly residents of two villages told Nagaland Post Wednesday that police personnel manning the interstate border check gates refused to allow them to enter Nagaland.

They disclosed that even a female who had prior appointment with a medical doctor in Dimapur, was not allowed to enter Dimapur. The two also wanted the district administration in Dimapur to intervene so that Nagas living along the border can be allowed to enter Dimapur on humanitarian ground so as to enable them to buy essential items.

The situation was worsening said one young man. He said most residents were daily wage earners and pensioners, now forced to live only on salt and rice. He said plight of Nagas living on the border areas was being ignored by the district authorities in Dimapur. 

The youth said: “I would like to remind the state government that we are also Nagas and we cast our votes in Nagaland. When we need essential items, we cannot travel to Manja or Diphu because most of us do not have vehicles and both the places are quite far, moreover, at such times, movement in Assam is also strictly restricted”.

Also speaking to Nagaland Post about the plight, Vihepu Yepthomi, ex-MLA (Dimapur-III), who now resides at Kania Tokbi, said: “some kind of a distribution centre should be set up as online food deliveries do not cover the areas”. Another colony member disclosed that Nagaland police personnel were uncompromising in barring them from entering Nagaland. He said most go to the nearest grocery shop (Tinali sub-jail junction) to buy their requirement but were told by police that once they enter Dimapur, they will not be allowed to return back to Assam side. One elderly man claimed that they were reluctant to cross the Dillai check gate as police personnel deployed there were extremely strict.

Hundreds of Nagas from different tribes reside at Mohon basti. “They assume we are from Assam even though we have Nagaland Aadhaar cards and Nagaland voter IDs. They ask us to bring proof from the village council but we do not have a working village council as we live in between two states”, rued an elderly man. 


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