Stranded Nagas across India plea to chief minister

MAPUR, MAY 14 (NPN) | Publish Date: 5/14/2020 12:38:32 PM IST

 DIA group of Nagas stranded at various cities outside Nagaland, have formed a group styled as  “All Cities COVID-19 Task Force for Nagaland”(ACC19TFN) on the evening of May 12 after a video conference .  The ACC19TFN, has written to state chief minister Neiphiu Rio seeking his attention to some of the issues raised.

While thanking the chief minister for the help given to stranded people, the signatories said they are at the forefront in the ‘Red Zones” and which needed urgent attention from the government of Nagaland.

They  have demanded transparency with regard to “special train arrangement” since there was lack of coordination and communication between the government appointed Point of Contact and student and church leaders working as frontline for the stranded Nagas. They demanded a special train arranged As Soon As Possible with confirmation of date of boarding, place and necessary formalities for the special train.

ACC19TFN has also urged the state to consult with Naga students union in different states over policy on stranded Nagas. Further they have also urged the state to review COVID-19 Helpline which they said did not work 24x7 as mentioned.

They have also urged the state government to update them on quarantine preparation such as- facilities provided, how many days of quarantine and whether quarantine would be district wise or whether all of them would be quarantined in Dimapur on arrival?

They have also urged upon the chief minister to provide special financial packages since many of the stranded Nagas have not received the amount provided and that ACC19TFN members were being bombarded with queries about the financial help.

ACC19TFN has  said that the sum of Rs.10,000 announced for stranded Nagas willing to remain in different states was “discriminatory against many like-minded stranded Nagas.” They demanded that help should also be extended to all Nagas outside Nagaland including stranded Nagas within North East as “one-time benefit”. 

ACC19TFN also informed that they were trying their best to educate stranded Nagas to remain where they are, as many had not planned on returning. However, due to circumstances many who come from poor background and working in mall, salons, restaurants, hotels, security agency, hospitality sectors have lost their jobs and have not received salaries since lockdown. ACC19TFN said all these were a vulnerable group whose conditions were worsening because their employers were not likely to restart business very soon. 

 In addition, the stranded also included students in hostels, PGs which have been closed and were forced to stay with friends in rented rooms. There are also  many stranded patients and those who need immediate evacuation to Nagaland, they said. 

ACC19TFN also said the longer the evacuation was delayed the worst will be the situation for the stranded Nagas   as they are exposed to “racial discrimination” like other north easterners.   

They have also demanded strict action against persons involved in posting rumours and fake news in social media which has stigmatised the stranded Nagas and also created fear psychosis.

The ACC19TFN also said as students union, the members  take care of  student activities and curriculum. However, ACC19TFN said members have also been compelled to carry dead bodies and look after the sick and needy, which was a responsibility of the government and its agencies.  It cautioned that failure to acknowledge their yeoman services would lead to bigger problems among people for which the government would be held accountable.  

ACC19TFN said it is a student body and a non-political organisation and would welcome any constructive measures and assistance in the form of finance or material from any other organisation(s)etc.

ACC19TFN expressed the hope that the state government would respond to their queries failing which, they would have no option but to stop assisting the government . They said this would result in the state having to depute its nodal officers and staff to all cities to shoulder the responsibilities of caring for the stranded people, face racial discrimination, take charge of deaths, hospital cases, rental issues etc.

The ACC19TN  representation was issued by its convenors- Mughato Kiba,NSU Bangalore; Lulu N. Lohe, NSU  Pune and N. Chibenthung, NSU Chennai and secretaries- Jubika A.Yepthomi,NSU Dehradun and T.P. Sining, NSU Shillong. The other members included: Hinoto P Aomi, NSU Delhi; Putu N Imsong, NSU Gujarat; L Yantsothung Lotha, NSU Salem; Arenlong, Naga Union Coimbatore; Sulanthung, Naga Union Goa; Ajat Konyak, NSU Aizawl; Dinenli Kath, NSU Kolkata; Sitenlo Tep, NSU Allahabad; Hokikhe Zhimo, NSU Guwahati, Chumroba J Sangtam, NSU Chandigarh, Wungramthing Huileng, NSU Mumbai; Imsanger Jamir, NSU Pagwara, Punjab; Asimbe, NSU Rajasthan and Inaka Khuju, Society for Naga Students’ Welfare, Kerala.


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