Other States

Action sought against Manipur district head for flouting COVID-19 protocols

Senapati district’s Deputy Commissioner (DC) Somorjit Salam had allegedly received a 36-member group of returnees in a bus and hosted dinner for them at a non-designated centre

Three civil society organisations in Manipur have given a deadline to the State government demanding the immediate suspension of Senapati district’s Deputy Commissioner (DC) Somorjit Salam for flouting COVID-19 protocols.

Mr. Salam had allegedly received a 36-member group of returnees in a bus and hosted dinner for them at a non-designated centre in the district headquarters Senapati on May 13. Two of the passengers later tested COVID-19 positive after the bus reached its destination, State capital Imphal about 60 km south.

Also read: Manipuris returning from Chennai screened, sent to districts

The Naga-majority Senapati, bordering Nagaland, is the first district on an arterial highway connecting Imphal to the rest of the country.

“The Deputy Commissioner, making a mockery of the government’s strict orders and SOP (standard operating procedure) on border entry and quarantine protocol for the stranded citizens returning to Manipur directed officials at the border screening point to allow these 36 passengers to pass by during no entry hours...,” the organisations said.

“…In utter negligence and endangering many lives, he allowed the passengers to halt and he hosted dinner at a multi-purpose hall near the DC’s complex in the district headquarters,” they added.

The organisations also alleged that the passengers were allowed to move freely in the town, use ATMs and visit shops before leaving early May 14 morning.

The organisations demanded a probe into the incident and action against Mr. Salam under the National Disaster Management Act, 2005. They also threatened an “intense agitation” if the government does not take any action by 6 p.m. on May 19.

The Deputy Commissioner could not be contacted, but a district official said he had been sent to home quarantine.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 11:09:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/action-sought-against-manipur-district-head-for-flouting-covid-19-protocols/article31614889.ece

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