Naga Hoho, the apex tribal body of Nagaland state, has now callled upon the State Government to facilitate the return of citizens who are stranded in other parts of India.
In a statement, the Naga Hoho said that since the central Government has allowed the stranded people to return to their own home and state, the state government's paramount duty is to provide "safety measures and ensure safe return" of Naga brothers and sisters. "We cannot allow our Naga brothers and sisters in different cities to suffer as they have become vulnerable to racial discrimination and degradation at the hands of others", expressed the tribal body.
However, the Naga Hoho said, the "it must be ensured that the returnees strictly maintain safety as per the guidelines and instructions given by experts and the state Government."
The Naga Hoho in its statement further added that the state Government "should not shift its focus" from bringing home the stranded people for fear of community spread. "Rather the state must be well prepared for any eventuality and as declared by the PM, we have to learn to live with the virus by maintaining strict guidelines."
"Due to COVID-19 global pandemic and sudden announcement of Lockdown in the country, many travellers, students and employees in private companies outside the state have been the worst affected", the Naga Hoho said, adding that many people have gone out of the state either on emergency medical ground or to pursue other services but could not return due to lockdown and stranded in various cities leaving them to the "mercy of others."
The Hoho also brought attention to the "untimely deaths" of stranded Naga youths and their allegedly "unceremonious" burials during this lockdown which it says "must have brought untold miseries and pain to the families and friends."
"Therefore it is the need of the hour that our stranded brothers and sisters return home to be with their families" the Naga Hoho said.
It is pertinent to mention here that this appeal has been made amid the backdrop of the Nagaland Government's announcement to give one-time assistance of Rs 10,000 each to migrants stranded in others states if they choose not to return at the moment.