Stop beating lockdown violators, NNagaDAO

DIMAPUR, APR 12 (NPN) | Publish Date: 4/12/2020 1:10:01 PM IST

Network of Nagaland Drugs and AIDS Organisations (NNagaDAO) has urged the State government to direct police and youth volunteers on duty to stop beating those who violate lockdown and then take their videos before sharing these on social media. 

In a memorandum to the principal secretary (home) by its president Abou Mere, the network stressed that the court of law that should decide on the course of action as per the provisions of law. In “our efforts” to control the spread of COVID-19, universal human dignity and fundamental principles of human rights should not be undermined or violated in the context of individuals or groups, it emphasised.
Extending its deep appreciation to all health workers, law enforcement agencies, administrative officials and volunteers for risking their lives to protect “our people”, NNagaDAO observed that the entire nation and the State had been desperately try to halt the spread of COVID-19 during this lockdown by restricting human and vehicular movements. However, it noted that some people, including those who use drugs and alcohol, were not fully abiding with the lockdown advisories, as evidenced by some incidents recently when they were brought to task by the police and youth volunteers enforcing the lockdown.
The apex body of NGOs and CBOs working in the field of drugs and HIV/AIDS in Nagaland explained that several measures were taken up by various agencies for decades to control drug use and alcoholism in Nagaland, but most of these failed to produce the desired results as they were not grounded in evidence-based clinical understanding of the issue. In a progressive move, the State government adopted the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Policy, based on scientific evidence and promoting a human rights approach, it added.
And at this critical phase of the pandemic, NNagaDAO said it felt that it was crucial for the State government to ensure a public health approach for treatment of drug users and alcoholics by ensuring availability and accessibility of treatment services, as well as referral to treatment centres, as also stated in the policy.
Appreciating all the efforts put in by the State government for ensuring safety and health of all sections of the population, the memorandum said it looked forward to collectively working towards ensuring that this protection and health services was extends to drug users and alcoholics in Nagaland. NNagaDAO is an issue-based advocacy platform constituted to address collective concerns and needs of organisations and key population communities involved in the sector of drugs and HIV/AIDS. 


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