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Tripura: Manik Sarkar condemns state govt invoking ESMA on protesting medics

“It is wrong on the part of the Government of Tripura to ignore their own weaknesses through adoption of the method of suppression. This is highly objectionable, unjust and thoroughly authoritarian step," Manik Sarkar's statement reads.

Written by Debraj Deb | Agartala | April 11, 2020 11:02:47 pm
Tripura custodial death, Biplab Kumar Deb, Manik Sarkar, Tripura Deputy Speaker Biswabandhu Sen, Tripura news, indian express, Sushanta Ghosh custodial death Tripura’s Leader of Opposition Manik Sarkar (File)

Terming Tripura government’s step to invoke the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) “highly objectionable”, Leader of Opposition Manik Sarkar said the state’s response to the protest by a group of nurses regarding shortage of medical equipment was “unjust and thoroughly authoritarian step”.

In a statement issued by Sarkar, he said urged the state government to reconsider the decision and withdraw ‘draconian ESMA’ at the earliest.

A press statement issued by Sourabh Chakraborty, on behalf of Opposition leader Manik Sarkar, said that instead of taking early appropriate measures regarding supply of PPE for healthcare workers, the state government has clamped ESMA in response to expression of concern by the healthcare staffers of state-run GB Panth Hoapital at Agartala and Unakoti District Hospital in Kailashahar in north Tripura.

“It is wrong on the part of the Government of Tripura to ignore their own weaknesses through adoption of the method of suppression. This is highly objectionable, unjust and thoroughly authoritarian step,” his statement reads.

Sarkar also said that the state government is thinking to ‘mum and muzzle’ people in expressing their mind and questioned how doctors, nurses, government officials and employees can make an united effort to ‘confront, counter and combat COVID-19’.

Reacting to Sarkar’s statement, Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath said the opposition leader was talking for the sake of politics and lacked basis.

“He made the statement for the sake of politics. He has said our government isn’t prepared. We are very much prepared. I believe someone may have misbriefed him. Not everyone associated with healthcare service needs to use PPE. He should know that, having run the state for four terms,” Nath said at a press conference.

The law minister explained there are sufficient protective gears available in Tripura and informed that 1338 PPE are available in central stores in addition to stocks in different district, 6953 N95 masks are available in the state along with 3.38 lakh gloves, 3409 hundred-litre bottles of hand sanitizers, 164 bottles of 500-litre capacity, over 1 lakh triple-layer masks among other items.

Meanwhile, 337 people are under quarantine across Tripura as per latest reports. They are among 10,585 who were put under surveillance at different times with preliminary symptoms or recent travel history to affected areas.

Tripura currently has reported two positive Coronavirus cases.

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