File photo of Neiphiu Rio and (right) TR Zeliang. Image credit -

The opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) Legislature Party on Saturday suggested that the Nagaland government take the testing of the stranded returnees with all seriousness and keep them under strict observation.

The party said the returnees should not be sent to their respective districts before ascertaining that they are Covid-19 negative.

It said thermal screening alone should no longer be the basis on which a person is determined as negative or positive.

“With the presence of the BSL-3 in Kohima, our state should be capable to test everyone so that it remains safe and protected,” the party at a meeting held at the residence of Opposition leader TR Zeliang here said.

The meeting adopted a six-point resolution.

The party said while chief minister Neiphiu Rio keeps on saying that the state government welcomes all Nagas from outside the state to return, little has been done on the ground for their safe return.

“We make a fervent appeal to the Chief Minister and his colleagues to kindly take serious note of the sufferings of the stranded people and arrange appropriate mode of transportation at the earliest,” the party said.

It said while the neighbouring states have been doing a commendable job to bring back their people, Nagaland is still in a state of confusion and lacks vision and will.

It is a very sad to learn that people in the cities are making their own arrangements and travelling by road, it added.

The party demanded that the funds received from the central government for Covid-19 need to be used judiciously while maintaining transparency and accountability.

Alleging that the state government is passing the buck to the heads of the district administrations, it said it is distressing that the burden of implementing and maintaining home quarantine has been further passed on to the village councils.

The village council members are not medically sound to follow the protocol in managing people in quarantine centres, it pointed out.

The party said apart from the meagre amount received as 50 percent grant in aid, the state government has not allocated any fund to the village councils.

It will be impossible for the villages to manage on their own, it added.

The NPF reminded the food and civil supplies department to properly implement the National Food Security Act and the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana.

It hoped the department will maintain transparency and accountability and the ration card holders will receive their due share without manipulation.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: