Meghalaya records 485 new COVID-19 cases, five fresh fatalities

Kohima: The Working Committee (WC) of the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) which comprises seven Naga national groups, on Sunday, sought “full detail of the alleged payment of COVID fund to national workers” from Nagaland legislator KT Sukhalu.

Sukhalu had claimed that “NSCN factions are seeking COVID funds” during an interview with a TV channel. The NSCN-IM and the NSCN (R) had also earlier rubbished the claims.

On Sunday, the WC NNPGs, through its media cell, said that the accusation made by the legislator has come “as a rude shock” slamming him for making irresponsible and insensitive remarks. “The negative ripples in mainland India and disappointed Naga friends and well-wishers across the world is felt,” it said. 

“It is a bitter taste in the mouth of all Sumi Naga National workers in particular and Sumi public in general, who take pride in the fact that Zunheboto is an impregnable fortress in the Naga national movement. The image of Sumi National workers has taken a battering after K.T Sukhalu’s allegation went viral,” it added. 

WC NNPGs said that it is aware that the COVID-19 funds are sanctioned by the Government of India to mitigate the sufferings and misery of the common people while also providing medical care and assistance to the affected.

With various political parties, civil societies and the public questioning the state government on the utilisation of COVID-19 funds, the WC NNPGs questioned if Sukhalu is “conveniently hiding the siphoning off of covid funds by government and shifting the blame to national workers”.

“Habitually, he hides behind the Naga political issue to cover his abject incompetence, nonperformance, insatiable greed and corruption,” said WC NNPGs.

“Let Mr. K.T Sukhalu produce full detail of the alleged payment of covid fund to national workers and should he fail to name the persons and amount, Naga National workers in particular and Sumi people, in general, would consider it a dangerous ploy to whip up anger of Sümi people against national workers,” it said. 

It then said that the NNPGs are clear in their objective that the pandemic must be defeated and that thousands of Naga National workers, civil and military members have been directed to follow COVID-19 protocols at all times. 

The WC NNPGs accused Sukhalu of “deliberately provoking a great mass of helplessly sandwiched Naga people fighting pandemic on one hand and staring at hunger and starvation on the other, to react against national workers”. 

“In these testing times, Mr. K. T Sukhalu would be held fully responsible if any national worker becomes a victim of his covid-fund-demand lie while pleasing his master,” the groups said.

It stated that the Naga political groups under WC, NNPGs, will never give up the core Naga political aspiration and the “Agreed Position” signed between GoI and WC, NNPGs on 17th November 2017 is “explicit that Nagas have the right to self determine their future in consonance with their distinct identity”.

Questioning “who” is Sukhalu “to treat the Naga National workers with such disdain”, the groups said that the “contribution” or “lack” of “Sukhalu’s family to the Naga political movement over decades too comes under scrutiny”.

It then said that by the legislator’s logic, the plea made by regional authorities for vaccination of Naga Army and Civilian workers in various designated camps would also be interpreted as forceful COVID-19 vaccination demand. “If such is his mindset, vaccination programs in designated camps and to any national workers be kept in abeyance,” it said.

Further, it added that when Naga National workers are humiliated and finger-pointed openly in the media, “the motive and intention of such leaders become questionable” and “their position and status, thus, become irrelevant”. 

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