Tuensang returnees’ issue: ENPO forgives erring officials
“If we are to continue without a sense of forgiveness, where do we expect humanity to exist in this universe”
Dimapur, July 10 (EMN): The Eastern Nagaland Peoples’ Organisation (ENPO) has finally broken its silence and announced the decision to forgive the Nagaland government for sending a Covid-19 positive case from Kohima to Tuensang on May 26 without waiting for the test result.
The announcement came a couple of days after minister of Health and Family Welfare S Pangnyu Phom tendered an apology to the ENPO on behalf of the state government for the incident.
Speaking to media persons in Dimapur on Friday, the president of ENPO, Kekongchim Yimchunger, said that the ‘issue right now stands at’ forgiving the erring officials but not forgetting the incident.
“This issue cannot be forgotten in any manner and should remain in the minds and hearts of everyone,” said Yimchunger.
Stating that ‘Nagas as Christians’ talk and preach about forgiveness, he said the ENPO has decided to practice what “we preach”.
Further, Yimchunger said that the “rest of the Nagas” call the people of ENPO ‘backward’ but that doesn’t mean “we are uncivilised”. Although ENPO areas are ‘backward economically and socially’, the president maintained that the people are not ‘uncivilised’.
“Backward people do not create confusion or turmoil in society, only uncivilised people do that; in that line, as a sign of civility, we are forgiving all the erring officials or persons connected to the May 26 incident,” said Yimchunger.
Saying that there has been discrimination towards the people of ENPO region right from the attainment of statehood, Yimchunger stated that they have been denied their rightful share.
“We had to get our right through confrontation; if Tuensang incident happened because of officers from ENPO area, I guarantee that the government would have suspended the official within 24 hours,” Yimchunger claimed, adding that there were many instances where ‘few erring officials have yet to be forgiven till date’.
On the backlash on social media about giving in to the government and letting the incident go ‘with just an apology’, the president stressed that ENPO choosing to forgive “the enemy” showed bravery.
“With a brave heart, we have forgiven this incident,” said the ENPO president.
“If we are to continue without a sense of forgiveness, where do we expect humanity to exist in this universe,” he asked.
He stressed that the ENPO is ‘not for sale’ even though some have labelled it as ‘the cheapest organisation’.
“We are rich at heart, which cannot be bought by money,” said Yimchunger.
However, the ENPO warned that it won’t tolerate such incidents in the future. “Do not expect the same cases of forgiveness in the near future; the government should take and make this issue an act to end the discrimination of the people of eastern Nagaland,” said Yimchunger.
In a statement, the ENPO said that the state Cabinet had admitted that, as per the findings of Judicial Inquiry Committee, it would not be proportionate to impose heavy penalty on the erring officers but may be reprimanded by way of censure on the ground that frontline officers discharge their duties in view of the various SOPs/guidelines and directives issued by the government authority and any lapses arising in dealing with the situation should be held accountable collectively and not severally.
“…the state government rendered an apology on July 9 through the minister for Health and Family Welfare, thereby the ENPO, six tribal bodies and frontal organisations from the region conceded to the appeal of the government to forgive the erring officers and lapses on the part of the Health department in the true Christian spirit,” it read.