MHRC cautions MLAs flouting rules in rice distribution

Staff Reporter (Prem_Mani)

Imphal, Mar 29: Manipur Human Rights Commission (MHRC) acting chairman Khaidem Mani said that MLAs are also liable to face legal action if they flout rules pertaining to distribution of PDS rice to the public during the lockdown promulgated by the state government in the fight against COVID-19.

Addressing a press conference at his residence here on Sunday morning, Khaidem Mani said that the commission has been receiving several complaints regarding irregularities in distribution of PDS rice as announced by the state government in the wake of the statewide lockdown and curfew. The complaints included written one and mobile phone through mediums like WhatsApp. Though the global situation necessitates the statewide lockdown, one cannot overlook the violation of basic human rights it entails, especially right to food.

Even though the CM announced rice distribution at the rate of 4 kg per head, there are reports of some getting more and others getting less at different localities. Interestingly, in some places, underage persons, who are not registered in the electoral roll are denied rice allocation as if non-voters do not need to eat to live. Though the government’s policy is praiseworthy, the actual implementation, which is being carried out under the watch of local MLAs has flaws which is not satisfactory at all. Violating basic human rights in the distribution of PDS rice is a serious issue and even MLAs may face legal actions if found guilty, he said while urging to do away with politics at this critical juncture.

On the other hand, he said, normal OPD and emergency facilities in hospitals are being stopped during the lock down and the government must take up necessary measures to ensure regular functioning of these facilities. Denying access to medical treatment for other types of health conditions in the fight against Coronavirus is also a violation of human rights, he said.

Mani then urged local clubs and youths to remove blockades put in their respective localities. The commission had already directed the DGP to take up necessary measures in this regard. It had also advised the DGP not to assault curfew violators and as a result, instances of beating violators have been reduced, he observed.

He further appealed to all concerned to file complaint to the commission along with evidences for price rise of essential commodities, and added that the commission will direct the authority concern to take up immediate action against such unwarranted price hike.

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