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Flashback 2020: Resilience takes centre-stage in a year like no other

By EM Bureau Updated: Dec 29, 2020 9:52 pm

File picture of returnees being screeened at Dimapur railway station. (EM Images)

Kohima Bureau
Kohima, Dec. 28 (EMN): Posterity will catalogue 2020 as the year of the great reset; the old world before the outbreak of Covid-19 has been phased out, the new is still being evolved. An entire planet tiptoes its way into 2021, in great uncertainty.

As is the case everywhere, much has happened this year in Nagaland like never before. From witnessing multiple protests to events and achievements, passing away of former and incumbent legislators to state bye-elections, topsy-turvy ride of Indo-Naga talks to the subsequent fallout between the NSCN (IM) and interlocutor RN Ravi, 2020 has been a bittersweet experience for Nagas.

Over and above, the coronavirus pandemic has turned the collective lives upside down and provided perspective. Besides learning new words related to the pandemic, people experienced new challenges and have gradually learned to live with it. The pandemic has also, in a way, exposed shortcomings in health infrastructure.  

First Covid-19 cases

The first detections of Covid-19 in Nagaland were reported on May 25 after three returnees from Tamil Nadu tested positive. Prior to that, one person from Dimapur had tested positive in Assam, in April.

In the early months of detection, the whole colony or area would be marked as containment zones and movements within the area were restricted but that has now been replaced by sealing of specific houses or buildings. By September, the spike among the returnees decreased but it had increased among traced contacts, armed forces and security personnel.

Lockdowns and restrictions 

By March, Nagaland tightened its activities; schools were closed from March 17. Cinema halls were closed and entry of tourists was restricted.

Thermal screening of returnees and visitors started on March 19. Two days ahead of the country’s announcement of total lockdown, Nagaland government imposed an indefinite lockdown on March 22.

Three BSL labs

Within a span of four months, three bio-safety level laboratories were made functional in Nagaland at a cost of INR 1455.59 lakh. On May 22, the first BSL-3 located at NHAK was inaugurated. On June 27, BSL-2 in Dimapur became operational and on August 28, another BSL-2 was inaugurated in Tuensang.

Covid-19: Digital education

With schools closed down, students and teachers were compelled to opt for online classes and tests. More than 20,000 students took the first online test in June 3.

Also, thousands of migrant workers and labourers, who were stranded in Nagaland, returned to their respective states. Districts administrations and NSDMA started to provide relief materials and even provided temporary shelter to daily wage earners, migrant workers, and labourers.

 Deaths of legislators

At least nine former and incumbent legislators passed away in 2020: Melhüpra Vero, T Tali, A Imtilemba Sangtam, Thrinimong Sangtam, Kakheho Sukhalu, C Noklem Konyak, Rev. L Suohie Mhasi, CM Chang and Lungshinggwangbe Meru.

CAA and JNU attack

Early this year, various political parties, student bodies, and civil society organisations from Nagaland stood against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Student bodies in Nagaland have also condemned the attack on JNU students. 

First in e-governance

Nagaland was ranked first among the north-eastern states in service portal or e-governance as per the national e-governance service delivery assessment (Nesda), 2019 released by Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension.

Sport activities

The North East Dr T Ao Trophy 2020 was held in Nagaland’s Indira Gandhi Stadium from January 20 to the 28th. All the eight Northeast states participated; Mizoram lifted the trophy after defeating Sikkim 1-0.

Venuzo Dawhuo representing Chakhesang Wrestling Association (CWA) was crowned champion of the 27th edition of Nagaland Wrestling Association (NWA) championship at Khouchiezhie in March.

Khrukuzo Nyekha representing Chakhesang Wrestling Association (CWA) won the 1st Nagaland Wrestling Association (NWA) under-16 wrestling championship.

Girls outperform boys in NBSE

Girls outperformed boys in the NBSE’s result declaration of HSLC, HSSLC on May 30. A total of 15,860 candidates qualified in HSLC exam while 15,461 candidates qualified in HSSLC exam.

Dog meat saga

On July 4, Nagaland government banned commercial import, trading of dogs and sale of dog meat in the state. However, the Gauhati High Court on November 25 granted an interim stay on ban and allowed the commercial import, trade, and sale of dogs and dog meat in the state until the next returnable date. 

Disturbed area for 6 months

The Centre on July 1 declared Nagaland as ‘disturbed area’ for six more months under the AFSPA, 1958 — from June till December 2020.

Noklak gets first DC, SP

On July 30, Noklak district got its first deputy commissioner and superintendent of police, years after it was announced as a district. Reny Wilfred was posted as DC and Pritpal Kaur Patra as SP.

First IAS after 13 years

After a gap of 13 years, Richard Yanthan cracked the UPSC examination from Nagaland, ranking 133rd overall.

Cleanliness hat-trick

Three towns in Nagaland received Swachh Survekshan 2020 award. Mokokchung town was declared ‘cleanest city’ in NE India; Chümoukedima town was announced best ‘self sustainable city’ in NE region and Pfutsero town was awarded with best city in ‘innovation and best practices’ in NE region. Meanwhile, Kohima and Dimapur were among the dirtiest in the list of cities with populations between one to ten lakh.

Nine villages without Power

Nine villages in Nagaland are still without power supply and Ekhyo village in Wokha district is the only village not connected by road, according to a directorate of Economics and Statistics report.

Students protest

Top student bodies—NSF and ENSF—in the state announced a joint agitation after the state government failed to mainstream SSA and RMSA teachers of 2010 and 2013 batches.

Later, ANCSU called for a digital protest against what it alleged was the government’s failure to set up an enquiry committee to probe fund utilisation at Khelhoshe Polytechnic Atoizu.

Consultative meet held    

The ruling government organised a consultative meet with civil society organisations, apex tribal and church bodies. The meeting adopted a 7-point resolution, which the government termed as ‘historic’. 

State bye-election

Bye-poll for two NLA seats—60-Pungro-Kiphire and 14-Southern Angami-I — was held on November 3. It registered 88% voters’ turnout, with re-poll at two stations. From eight intending candidates, two candidates—Medo Yhokha of NDPP and Independent candidate T Yangseo Sangtam—emerged winners.

Renewal of Nagaland-Assam border issue

Assam-Nagaland border issue resurfaced as the economic blockade imposed against Nagaland on the Mariani-Mokokchung road stretched for three weeks. The economic blockade was lifted on December 9.

15 NH projects

Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs, Nitin Gadkari inaugurated 15 National Highway projects in Nagaland on December 4.

Other achievements and milestones

Arenlong Longkumer from Mokokchung district won the ‘Jack Gardiner Solo Competition’ and the ‘Strandberg India Guitar Contest’ in May 2020; North Police station in Kohima received ISO certification. TaFMA signed an MOU with MusiConnect Asia to promote musicians; two from Nagaland—Seno Tsuha and Sangti Wanmai Konyak—won community conservation awards; and Lenien Jamir received full-time athletic scholarship from Monmouth University, New Jersey in the US.

By EM Bureau Updated: Dec 29, 2020 9:52:29 pm