Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio on Wednesday sought suggestions of the civil societies on how to handle the situation in the best possible way when the stranded people arrive in the state in large numbers.

Rio called an emergency meeting with all civil societies of Dimapur to seek their views and suggestions on handling the situation after the return of the people stranded outside the state at Rhododendron hall in Chumukedima police complex here.

“If people staying outside come, virus might come to Nagaland which is a green zone. However, we cannot disown our own children, brothers and sisters,” chief minister Rio said.

Rio said deporting of inter-district stranded people, which started on May 7, is almost complete and the people from other states have started arriving since Tuesday evening.

He said people might start coming on their own with the restarting of train service and other modes of transport by the Centre.

As far as Nagaland is concerned, during such epidemic, the village authorities implement lockdown very strictly with unity, he said.

Rio said he was satisfied with the arrangements at the quarantine centres in Dimapur and advised the leaders of the civil societies to visit the centres.

He expressed gratitude to the civil societies, church leaders, district administration police, public and all concerned for their concerted efforts in preventing coronavirus and sincerely implementing the standard operating procedures given by the government.

Rio said even DoNER minister Jitendra Singh lauded the Northeast people for their efforts to fight the virus and asked other states to be disciplined like the northeasterners.

“Make Nagaland a new Nagaland by taking the COVID19 crisis as a wake-up call,” Rio said.

Chief secretary Temjen Toy said 18,000 stranded Nagas have already registered in the website iamstranded.nagaland.gov.in expressing their desire to come home.

He said 70 per cent of the stranded returnees from different states would be quarantined in Dimapur while 30 per cent will be sent to Kohima as per advice from the state medical department.

Toy clarified that Rs 10,000 offered by the government to the stranded people was not to appease them ‘not to return home’ but to extend help if they do not desire to come home even after doing the registration and are facing financial problems.

He said the window period, if needed, will be extended for the convenience of the returnees and to properly set the arrangements for them.

The president of Western Sumi Hoho, Dr Kakheto Zhimomi, observed that the Nagas are modern but “uncivilized”.

Stressing on taking all precautions, he said the Nagas are very panicky because of ignorance.

He suggested for arrangement of buses for bringing the stranded people if the government can manage.

Zhimomi said there are many compassionate Nagas who are ready to help in this regard.

Leaders of Chakrhoma Public Organisation, Western Chakesang Hoho, Lotha Hoho, Ao Senso Telongjem Dimapur, Eastern Nagaland Public Organisation, Rengma organization Dimapur, Naga Women Hoho Dimapur, Dimapur District Gaonburhas Association, Dimapur Naga Students Union, Dimapur Christian Forum, Dimapur District Village Councils Association, among others, expressed their views.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com