CSO in Peren district demand to change COVID-19 minister in-charge

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Nagaland Post: The civil society organisations (CSOs) of Peren district have demanded immediate removal of minister-in charge of Peren district COVID-19 management for indifferent and neglecting his responsibility.

In a joint statement by Lamhai People Youth Organisation (LPYO) president Kuhia and Rongmei Naga Youth Organisation (RNYO) president KG Philip claimed that the Peren CSOs, after wide consultations with the public, have endorsed them to apprise the state government of the Covid-19 pandemic related issues and situation in the district.

While appreciating the government’s move to delegate one minister for each district to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. However, they alleged that the minister in charge– higher & technical education and tribal affairs minister Temjen Imna Along, remained indifferent since the beginning when a COVID positive person was first sent to the district along with those that tested negative.

Following public anger over the blunder and careless attitude on the part of the minister in-charge, the organisations recalled that the deputy commissioner came under pressure to address the issue but to no avail as Along remained indifferent on the matter. The CSOs also accused the minister in-charge of not only neglecting his responsibility but also of failing to keep his promise made to the people during his visit to Peren of immediately repairing Tening primary health centre and upgrading Jalukie community health centre to 100-beded COVID Hospital.

They alleged that when lives of people were at risk, he was absent from the scene and had escaped from his responsibility as minister in charge of the district.

When there was public demand for immediate action and intervention, they said he shared no concern or took any responsibility as district in-charge.

Mentioning that some State government officials and CSOs members risked their lives to contain spread of the virus in the district, the statement claimed that organisations provided all possible help to the returnees for their safe and healthy stay in their respective allotted quarantined centres.

Noting that government efforts had not been enough, the CSOs appealed to all political parties to cooperate and jointly focus on fighting the pandemic by putting aside their political interests and biases. They said all must work together in the interest of general public.

The organisations urged the High Powered Committee to immediately replace Along as Peren district in-charge with someone more efficient for combating COVID-19 in the district. They warned that if their demand was not complied with, they would be compelled to take action as deemed fit, including non-cooperation against the government, adding the government would be held solely responsible for any consequential occurrence.