Stranded Manipuris: Naga Students’ Union Delhi urges CM Biren to take effective steps

The NSUD said that despite numerous petitions and appeals from various civil bodies, students’ union, groups and individuals to waive-off or reduce house rent, the current steps and measures taken by the government remains ineffective

Naga Students’ Union Delhi (NSUD) has appealed to Chief Minister N Biren Singh to take more effective action for helping those who are stranded outside the state due to COVID-19 lockdown.

The NSUD, representing all the Naga students residing in Delhi, expressed in a statement its appreciation to the chief minister and all those who are working in the frontline under his leadership in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic. However, it said that the state chief minister needs to do more to address the situation of stranded citizens.

“We acknowledge the assistances given to Manipuris, stranded in various cities of India, through state Bhawan or directly from your office. The resident commissioner of Manipur Bhavan, Delhi has done a commendable work in this regard,” it said.

The student body said its members have been coordinating with different NGOs and respective North-East state Bhawans in providing basic needs to stranded people of the state. They have also been visiting hospitals to cater to the patients, attending distress calls along with the Delhi Police (SPUNER), dealing with various forms of discrimination faced by NE people, since the first week of March, it added.

While noting that there may be constraints being faced due to the prevailing situation, the NSUD drew the chief minister’s attention to ‘some important issues’ for necessary action during this crisis times and said, “In good faith, we believe your able leadership will take prompt steps to address the issues that we have placed in the interest of the people of Manipur and mankind in general,” it said.

The NSUD said that despite numerous petitions and appeals from various civil bodies, students’ union, groups and individuals to waive-off or reduce house rent, the current steps and measures taken by the government remains ineffective. There are various reports of forced eviction of tenants and racial discriminations by landlords and local people, it added.

The state government’s initiative to provide basic ration to most helpless people through the state Bhavan and resident commissioners are yet to cover the majority of the deserving people, it added.

The Manipur COVID-19 nodal officer need to closely work with various Manipur students’ unions in Delhi since they are directly in touch with the problem of helpless people, it further said. They are receiving and attending to all the grievances and complaints of the public, it stated. There are many emergency situations which require immediate attention of the state through nodal officer, it added.

“Abrupt discontinuation of the financial assistance of Rs 2,000 given to stranded people through the Tengbang initiative has inhumanly discriminated many deserving applicants instead of helping them tide over their distress,” it complained.

The government should also arrange some financial aid to people who are still waiting for the 3rd and 4th phase of evacuation as these people are struggling financially to pay their rent and other expenses, it stated.

There is a strong criticism from the public that the selection process for evacuation is totally unfair as it has failed to follow the protocol announced through the previous notification, it stated.

Many deserving people have been denied the tickets, which puts into question the rationale in the selection process, it added. 

Moreover, in case of passengers who have cancelled their travel plan, there should be a way for more deserving people who are struggling financially to fill up the vacant seats, NSUD.

The current system has not addressed this particular issue, it said. In this regard, it is suggested that the students’ union in the respective cities should be given some quotas for allocation of seats so that they can help select the passengers list on emergency/need-basis, the NSUD added.

First Published: May 29, 2020, 6:45 a.m.