Unwanted incidents

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 8/25/2020 12:36:13 PM IST

 Amidst the current lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, those who are at the frontline to contain the virus such as -medical staff, health workers, NGOs and security personnel in Nagaland are rendering selfless services. They have been working long hours and their sacrifices have been taken for granted. It is also true that frontline warriors do experience mental stress as most are practically separated from their families. Like elsewhere in the country, frontline warriors are risking their lives to ensure that the disease doesn't spread from patients to family members and others. Doctors and medical staff are the first among the frontline warriors who are directly on the line of fire, so to say. The current measures to contain COVID-19 could go on even for another year. It is unfortunate that there have been at least three reported incidents where doctors have been assaulted by policemen while on duty. The latest incident occurred on August 21 when some IRB personnel reportedly assaulted a doctor on duty. This has led to hue and cry from various organisations while the medical fraternity in the state, have resolved to call a total 24-hour shutdown of all medical services from 6 a.m. on August 26 till 6 a.m. of August 27; while pharmacists have also decided to remain shut from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on August 26. The shutdown followed the failure of the state authorities in taking action on those personnel involved in the assault on Dr.Atoka Wotsa. It may also be recalled that the first unsavoury incident occurred on April 3,2020 when Dr.Nosezol Sezo Medical Officer attached with CHC Medziphema was reportedly assaulted by some police personnel of the Special Task Force (STF). The assault evoked huge outrage across the state and eventually, the DG Police had to offer an unconditional apology. Another similar act took place in Wokha when Dr.Mongshithung Murry was brutally assaulted by police personnel in Wokha town on April 71,2020. In all the incidents, the doctors were on the receiving end from police. Without going into the details, it is indeed unfortunate that these have happened when all are supposed to focus solely in the fight against COVID. In fact, when the first incident took place on April 3,2020 there should have been better coordination between the heads of both departments so as to prevent recurrence. The response to the August 21 was a one-man inquiry set up by the Deputy Commissioner Dimapur district on August 22 with directive to submit the report on or before August 25. However, the order of the DC was overturned by the State Home Department on August 23 when it replaced the one-man panel by a 3-member inquiry committee headed by Neposo Theluo, Commissioner & Secretary, RD Department as chairman and with members – Khanrinla Koza, Secretary, Law & Justice and Rosy Margaret Athrila, ADC Niuland. However, due to procedural delay, the In-service doctors have decided to go ahead with their 24-hour shutdown on August 26. The state government has to take the call in ordering a high level inquiry to identify factors responsible for the highhandedness and suggest remedial measures like a Standard Operating Procedure(SOP) by which doctors and police personnel are to conduct their activities.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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