Information of stranded persons who registered on the Nagaland government website surfaced online Credit: Representational image

Kohima: The Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) on Friday questioned the state government’s accountability in handling the personal details of stranded people outside the state, as the confidential information of persons who registered on the designated portal to avail of monetary relief amid COVID-19 crisis, surfaced online.

Following the report by EastMojo where the principal director of school education Shanavas C, who is also the nodal officer for monitoring and coordination with other states, revealed that the confidential information may have leaked from a point of contact [through unions] during verification process, the Congress accused the government of “shifting blame”.

A press note from the NPCC media cell on Friday said that the party is “seriously concerned about the major security breach of data relating to stranded citizens of Nagaland”. It said that the “excuse” of an “overloaded” response on the portal and the issue of the “data security breach are the mirror of unpreparedness and inefficiency” of the state machinery.

“In the first place, nodal officer and his team must own moral responsibility for not applying their minds while handling personal details of stranded people. For verification, they could have simply sent only the details of name, address and phone number given by applicants to respective point of contacts. Moreover, the details sent in MS Excel format should have been in password protected files known only to the point of contact,” the statement said.

It said that by sending the full details of the registered stranded persons, “the concerned nodal officials have committed serious blunder”. “The state government must take cognizance of this major security breach and take action to restore some semblance of order which has so far been missing in its approach to handling the pandemic situation,” it added.

Further, it urged the state government to “expedite the process of disbursing financial assistance to stranded people” and to ensure that those “applying fraudulently are strictly penalized”. It concluded saying that the government must rise and motivate its officials “to perform even beyond the call of duty in these extraordinary times”.

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