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Manipur civil bodies demand suspension of Senapati DC for violation of Covid-19 protocols

Written by Jimmy Leivon
| Imphal |

Published: May 18, 2020 12:25:43 am

A picture being shared on social media, purportedly of Senapti DC in the bus carrying 36 passengers from Mumbai.

Civil society organisations in Manipur’s Senapati district have demanded the suspension of the deputy commissioner (DC), for allegedly flouting COVID-19 safety protocols.

A 48-hour ultimatum to the state government, in the form of a memorandum signed by three apex bodies of the district, namely Naga People’s Organisation (NPO), Senapati District Women Association (SDWA) and Senapati District Students’ Association (SDSA), was submitted to Chief Minister N Biren Singh Sunday.

The outcry against the DC, Salam Somorjit, followed after a picture of him allegedly inside a bus carrying 36 stranded people, who had returned from Mumbai, went viral on social media.

On Saturday, two of the 36 passengers, a 75-year-old woman and his son (48), who are residents of Moreh border town, Tengnoupal district, tested positive for the virus. The samples were tested at the laboratory of Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS).

NPO president Solomon Arow said the memorandum was drafted after a meeting of several civil bodies of the district Sunday.

According to the civil society members, DC Somorjit flouted the COVID-19 and quarantine protocols on May 13 when he allegedly allowed an Imphal-bound bus carrying the 36 stranded people who were returning from outside Manipur during “no entry hours” from Mao Gate through Senapati district. Mao gate is the entry point to Manipur bordering the state of Nagaland.

The DC, “in utter negligence and endangering many lives”, allowed the incoming passengers to halt and then the officer hosted a dinner for them on the night on May 13 at a multi-purpose hall, which is a non designated quarantine centre located near the DC Complex in the district headquarters.

The people of Senapati district have expressed their concerns as most of the passengers were allowed to move freely and got access to public ATM booths, tea stalls and shops, claimed the statement.

The civil bodies said the passengers left the Senapati town in the morning of May 14.

The 48-hour ultimatum served to the Manipur government by the civil society organisations of Senapati district got effective from 6 pm of May 17 and will lapse at 6 pm of May 19.

The three organisations warned that the failure on the part of the state government to meet the demand will lead to intense agitation.

According to sources, the Deputy Commissioner is under home quarantine. His sample has been sent for testing and the result will be received on Monday. The state government has not issued any official statement about the incident.

Meanwhile, a total lockdown of Senapati district has been called by the civil society organisations of the district.

The joint bodies said the 48-hour total lockdown will start from 6am of May 18 and will culminate at 6 am of May 20 covering all parts of Senapati district head quarters. However, services like medical, fire brigade, media, and permit holders of stranded persons entering Manipur are relaxed from the purview of the lockdown.

It appealed to the general public to remain at home and avoid violating the lockdown to ensure strict implementation and combat the spreading of COVID-19.

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