Itanagar: Around 11 students from Arunachal Pradesh studying in several parts of the country, who were until Tuesday staying in one of the guest houses in Guwahati, Assam, have suddenly gone missing, leaving the authorities concerned, clueless and worried about their whereabouts.

As per Guwahati deputy resident commissioner (DRC), Arunachal Pradesh, Dilip Kumar Chutia, the students who were staying in one of the guest houses near the Guwahati Airport until Tuesday night, left their rooms in the wee hours of Wednesday, that too without informing anyone.

Chutia said the students were from the West Kameng and Tawang districts and they might have fled due to the lockdown which was imposed throughout the country on Tuesday midnight.

“They were here till Tuesday night and I am told that they left their rooms without informing anyone. I have, however, forwarded their names and contact numbers to the authorities concerned and also to the nodal officer of COVID-19 control room in Itanagar,” Chutia said.

When EastMojo contacted officials of the state control room for COVID-19 monitoring in Itanagar, the one-stop centre taking care of every information going in and out of the district control rooms, for more information on the matter, they said they had no idea about the students.

The West Kameng control room also had a similar story to tell.

We have received no information about such students entering our district, the official there said.

EastMojo also spoke with Dr Nabam Peter, the state nodal officer for COVID-19, and whom DRC Chutia claimed to have forwarded the details of the students. “I have not received any information as such until now, however, we are compiling the reports, so we will update you if there is a lead,” Dr Peter said.

West Kameng Superintendent of Police (SP) Raja Banthia also had no information on the students.

Raja instead questioned the DRC on why he had not shared the information to him or the department concerned. The SP, however, assured that he would try to track down the students.

A high-ranking official in the government who did not wish to be named when contacted said: “Along with rest of country, the government of Arunachal Pradesh is also trying its level best to fight against the spread of novel coronavirus. However, the government’s efforts are nullified when irresponsible incidents like these occur.”

Also questioning the carelessness of the students, he said, “I hope and pray they are safe, but the carelessness on their part could jeopardize the lives of many. Students returning to the state from other parts of the country are supposed to be screened and go on self-isolation. So, I hope they do that once or if they have already reached their homes.”

How much the government will do until and unless the people are not ready to understand the severity of the matter we have at hand, he added.

The whereabouts of the students were still unknown till the filing of this report.

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