TODAY -

Chaos at Jirighat over Covid testing fee
Source: Chronicle News Service

Jiribam, July 08 2022: In compliance with an order issued by the Directorate of Health Services on July 6 for mandatory testing at all entry points of the state as preventive measures against Covid-19, officials resumed testing at Jiri bridge located between Jiribam of Manipur and Assam from Thursday onwards.

However, on Friday morning, a large number of people trying to enter Jiri from Assam, particularly from Jirighat area shut down the National Highway-37 by blocking Jiri Bridge from Assam's side, protesting that the price of the testing, which is fixed at Rs 150, was too high.

According to the protestors, many people pass through Jiribam and Jirighat countless times in a day.

Apart from being one of the big market days of the week, the Eid-al-Adha Festival of Muslim community falls on Friday as well.

As such, asking people to pay Rs 150 for the test, just for taking a trip to the market in Jiri, which is located only few metres away, to buy or sell goods worth not more than Rs 100, is unreasonable.

Thus, until the price rate of Covid-19 tests is reduced, there will be restriction on entering this route and NH-37 will remain closed down, they asserted.

As the crowd continued to swell, the district police tried to pacify the crowd, stating that the step was taken up in accordance with the order of the government of Manipur.

Nonetheless, taking the people's inconveniences into consideration, talks have been held with both Silchar DC and Jiribam DC to come up with an amicable solution.

The police then appealed to the people to stay calm and not to make unnecessary trouble.

However, the protestors refused to budge and continued to block the National Highway, prompting a team of Jirighat Police to try and defuse the situation but to no avail.

Around 10 am, the Jiribam OC conveyed to the protestors that the Chief Medical Officer of Jiribam has informed that no money would be taken for the Covid-19 test and as such, urged the protestors to take the test free, following which the tension subsided.

Unfortunately, due to the prolonged closure of NH 37, it was dark by the time movement resumed along the route.

Police had a difficult time controlling the huge crowd and thus, it is assumed that many people managed to enter Jiri without taking the test, except for a few.

It may be mentioned here that Jiri Keithel, the biggest market in the district, is not only located close to Jirighat, Assam but also most of the products sold in the market are brought in from Assam.


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