Rescue buses flagged off; Kpi Union rues ‘stoppage’
IMPHAL, 8th May: Even as minister Letpao Haokip and Sekmai MLA H Dingo on Friday despatched buses to bring home stranded Manipuris from different parts of the country, Kangpokpi Youth Union (KYU) has cautioned all concerned against flouting the evacuation/transportation rules.
In the aftermath of many stranded natives urging authorities concerned to facilitate return to their home state, water resources and YAS minister Letpao Haokip flagged off two buses for evacuation of Manipuris stranded in Guwahati due to the Covid-19 lockdown. The evacuation will cover 46 people belonging to Chandel Assembly Constituency.
Speaking at the flag-off event, the minister stressed that in addition to the government, legislatures and public representatives, CSOs need to extend their best possible help to the Manipuris stranded outside in such critical times, as they have been subjugated to racial discrimination, apart from facing many other usual inconveniences.
The buses were flagged off from the minister’s residence at Koirengei. A total of 46 people belonging to his constituency, comprising students, working people and those who went outside for medical treatment will be brought back in the two buses.
Letpao told media persons that the stranded people will be tested for Covid-19 on their return and will be kept at quarantine centres as per government guidelines even if they turn out to be negative. The centres will be at Chakpikarong Higher Secondary School, St Joseph’s School of Sugnu, Khambaron BDO Office, JNV Chandel and District Hospital, Chandel.
The minister added that he has personally arranged the evacuation programme bearing all the expenses, as one should assist in the initiatives taken up by the present state government at his/her personal capacities.
He appealed to Manipuris stranded outside to register themselves to the www.tengbang.com initiated by the government or to approach members/officials of the consultative committee formed by the government.
The WR minister also appealed the public not to stigmatise and traumatise those individuals returning from outside, but to co-operate with them with sympathy.
Sekmai MLA H Dingo also flagged off a bus to bring back Manipuri pilgrims stranded at Brindavan.
The bus flagged off from Senjam Chirang Club ground by the MLA will bring back 47 pilgrims from Sekmai and other parts of the state. One bus is already with the pilgrims and the new bus has been sent so that the two buses could bring back all the stranded pilgrims with not more than 24 passengers each.
MLA Dingo told media persons that arrangement to quarantine elderly pilgrims who will be returning to the state has been made and places where they are to be put up identified. He also appealed to people of the state to follow lockdown restrictions and other measures to free the state from the deadly virus.
Meanwhile, volunteers of Kangpokpi Youth Union (KYU), who assisted the District police in monitoring the new lockdown guidelines at Kangpokpi DHQ, came across a vehicle bearing West Bengal registration number stopping at Kangpokpi Bazar.
KYU vice president Kamgougin Lunkim immediately swung into action after informing the police and checked the vehicle with the police. It came to light that the vehicle was transporting stranded Manipuri people from Kolkata, West Bengal and many more vehicles were on their way.
Later, KYU leaders and police send them to their destination and told them not to stop by until they reached their destination.
Speaking to media persons, Kamgougin pointed out that they understand the sufferings of the evacuated people and the driver after a long journey. At the same time, it is very important to take precautions as they came from COVID-19 affected state, even though they wanted to help them, he added.
Kamgougin stressed that stopping the vehicles transporting evacuated people at public places before reaching their destination would cause apprehension among the public while adding that they could be stopped in some isolated places and not in Bazar area or public places if it is unavoidable.
He also assured of helping them if the vehicles transporting the evacuated people are officially informed about their travelling itinerary.
In another development, quick changes in lockdown guidelines and failure of disseminating information in time led to crowding of vehicles and people at Kangpokpi DHQs on Friday.
Kangpokpi police and KYU had a tough time controlling the crowd and vehicles owing to misunderstanding of the latest guidelines.
Many private vehicles plying at Kangpokpi DHQs were detained by the police for violating the new guidelines. However, the violators told the police that they were not aware of the latest guidelines which restricted private vehicles without passes.
With the instructions of SP Kangpokpi, elderly persons who violated the guidelines were first released and the remaining later on after strict warning and briefing about the new guidelines.