TODAY -

Clarification from Cancer Patients Team, Mumbai Returnee

18th May 2020



Date: 18th May 2020
Place : R & D Wing, Lamphel

This is a note of clarification, with respect to the application submitted by Senapati District Civil Bodies. The said application called for the indulgence of Hon’ble Chief Minister of Manipur demanding immediate suspension of Shri Salam Somorjit, DC Senapati District, inter alia amongst others.

Although we can understand the concern of the civil bodies given the present atmosphere caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic; nonetheless, we take the opportunity to provide an unbiased narration about the events of 13th May 2020, at Mao gate and at Senapati.

We were a group of 36 members plus 3 drivers of which 13 were cancer patients who had gone to Mumbai for Chemotherapy and various treatments much before the lockdown and got stranded at Mumbai. With approvals from both the state governments, we booked an ambulance and a bus and started our long itinerary of 04 days and 04 nights starting from 8th May.

Some of the patients were with nose-feeding tubes, while some were with glucose drips throughout the journey. Furthermore, we were medically verified as per the COVID-19 guidelines laid down by the Government of India.

We met some good Samaritans enroute who went out of the way to help us with packed lunch and dinners. So, we are greatly indebted to all the people who helped us throughout the journey, with human touch, making us believe that humanity still exists during this difficult time.

Finally, on 13th May we reached Mao Gate at around 6:15 pm. After all the necessary verifications were conducted, we were then directed to report at IIIT Mantriphukhri for further medical verification and necessary tests.

However, considering the timing we had to stay at Mao Gate, we enquired from the respective authorities who were on duty there to arrange for parking place for the vehicles and for necessary food and lodging arrangement for the cancer patients.

To our great disappointment and shock, the SDO on duty, replied to the query of one of our members with repeated expletives under the pretext of social distancing. We politely requested him not to use such inappropriate words in public and while on duty.

To this, The SDO pointed to the member and aggressively threatened “who are you?” and the OC and SI on duty also threatened to physically assault us and lodge us behind bar. Nonetheless, with folded hands we requested them to calm down and help us.

We were finally told that night halt can be made at a distance of about 2 km away up the hill which we have to walk and with the patients it was not possible and we were in a great dilemma. At last, having no alternative, at around 9:30 pm, we contacted the concerned district authority over the phone.

After hearing our plight the Deputy Commissioner of Senapati helped us with full co-operation and guided us to come to Senapati. Thereafter we proceeded to Senapati. On our arrival, the DC welcomed us. We were briefed and instructed by the DC to follow the Covid-19 protocol strictly.

We assured him to abide by the instructions and accordingly we strictly followed the same. As requested by us, the DC arranged our stay and meal for the night. We are truly thankful and indebted to the District authorities for this goodwill gesture. None of us ventured out of the building where we were accommodated at anytime till our departure.

The following morning of 14th May 2020 at around 6:30 am, we proceeded for IIIT Imphal for medical verification and necessary tests as directed to us. Unfortunately, subsequently two of the group members tested Covid-19 positive and we pray for their speedy recovery. Currently, they are undergoing all the necessary treatment at RIMS, Imphal.

In no circumstances did we violate any of the protocols, throughout the journey. Furthermore, from the inception of the journey, we were extremely cautious given the medically ill-conditions with low immunity of our group members. In this regard, it is also pertinent to mention that the group consisted of people from all communities of Manipur and all of us travelled together under one common identity i.e. as a Manipuri.

Although we understand that the people of Senapati are panicky after hearing that two of our members were tested positive. Nonetheless, their allegations against the District Commissioner of Senapati are wild, baseless and ill-founded. In fact, it was his generous act and bold decision which allowed the cancer patients to pass the night peacefully in Senapati.

For the same, we are extremely grateful to him. He should not be victimised for his extremely generous and bold decision coupled with empathic hospitalities. They are indeed the frontline administrative fighters in these trying times.

Furthermore, one of our member’s constant social media updates would also serve as evidence to our claim of being law-abiding citizens.

The locals and respected CSOs are requested to understand the circumstances which led the DC to take the extraordinary decision for the cause of humanity and not to create any chaotic and panic atmosphere based on perceived grounds without fully knowing the actual events and the happenings.

Cancer Patients Team
Mumbai Returnee


* This Press Release was sent to e-pao.net by Cancer Patients Team & Mumbai Returnee
This Press Release was posted on 19 May 2020

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