“Chief Minister N Biren Singh has failed to control the prevailing situation of the pandemic in Manipur other than imposing curfew. He should let the people know that the current situation is beyond his hand,” said AICC Manipur in-charge Bhakta Charan Das while speaking to the media during a press conference held at state Congress office at BT Road, Imphal on Thursday.
Das said that the state government has imposed a 10-day curfew in the entire state after months of restriction due to the prevailing situation of COVID-19. Despite the restriction, lockdown and curfew, the state government has not been able to bring down the rate of COVID-19 positive cases in the state.
“Why the chief minister, who is also the state health minister, not been able to stop the daily mortality rate in the state where there are hardly around 30 lakh populations?” the AICC Manipur in-charge questioned.
Due to lack of oxygen and unavailability of ventilators in all the government and private hospitals including RIMS and JNIMS, mortality rate due to COVID-19 has increased in Manipur. However, in Rajya Sabha, the central government has been stating that there are no cases of COVID-19 death due to lack of oxygen in all the states and union territories, he added.
He further questioned that why is the state government not auditing the exact requirements of oxygen in Manipur?
Das said that according to the data from the state government, it is mentioned that on July 21, 15 people succumbed to COVID-19 and the positivity rate was 19.4 percent with detection of 1,327 new positive cases. On July 20, the positivity rate was 15.5 percent with 17 cases of deaths due to COVID-19 and 1,127 new positive cases were detected. In the last few days the mortality rate has increased from 10 to 15 percent, he added.
He also said that the BJP-led government in the state has failed to provide a single rupee as compensation to the families of those who have succumbed due to COVID-19. Moreover, the CM has not provided enough RT-PCR testing kits to detect COVID-19 positive cases in the state. With the present state government, there is no hope to control the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
The AICC Manipur in-charge also pointed out that ‘Pegasus snooping’ is an unconstitutional attack on ‘freedom of speech’ and is a direct illegal intrusion in one’s privacy and violation of fundamental rights under Article 21 of Indian constitution.
“This is an absolute destruction of people’s personal lives and democracy. How the Prime Minister is still silent when the whole nation has been snooped,” Das said.
Former Union IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad evaded question in Rajya Sabha on whether the Union government of India has sought Pegasus services. Why did the then Union IT minister keep silent over Pegasus in the Parliament? He asked.
“Today, even the name of the present Union IT minister is in the snooping list of Pegasus. It is extremely dangerous to know that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, many current Union ministers, top politicians, former election commissioner, intellectuals and many influential personalities have been snooped. Despite this nationwide snooping over anyone's phone by Pegasus, the Prime Minister is maintaining a stoic silence,” Das said.
He further said that Congress party has demanded a white paper on the illegal snooping by Pegasus during the regime of Prime Minister Modi and demanded for a Supreme Court-led judicial probe against Pegasus snooping in India.
"We want a high-level independent investigation to find out and expose who benefitted from Pegasus and for whom Pegasus snooping was done in India, and why and how the Prime Minister did not block Pegasus snooping in our nation," Das said.
Pegasus snooping is the vindication of the fact that there has been an undeclared emergency by illegally intruding in all the private and personal lives of citizens in the nation and the deliberate silence from the Prime Minister is doubtful, he added.
Prime Minister Modi's silence on Pegasus snooping means there is no use of an ordinary mobile handset to keep password to lock his or her phone screen. When all the ordinary Indians are not safe within their own privacy, how can Digital India be safe? How can India be safe? Das questioned.
Read More News from Manipur
(The Imphal Free Press is now on Telegram. Join IFP News Update Group and stay updated with the latest news and impact stories)