GUWAHATI: The National Commission for Women (NCW) has issued a notice to the Mizoram government over an order purportedly issued by the state’s health department to a hospital on March 1 that made “voter ID mandatory for every woman delivering a child at the Tlabung Civil Hospital”.
“NCW is disturbed to read the report of negligence and denial of service by the hospital officials to the pregnant woman. We’ve written to Pu Lalnunmawia Chuaungo, Chief Secretary, for an immediate inquiry,” the Commission tweeted.
Earlier, Paritosh Chakma, who is the president of Mizoram Chakma Alliance Against Discrimination, had tweeted tagging the NCW. He had written that the act of the Mizoram government was “bone-chilling, outright unethical, illegal, flagrant violation of the right to health.” He had demanded the withdrawal of the order.
On Wednesday, he said, “The notification issued by the State of Mizoram to make voter-ID mandatory for accessing treatment amounts to Mizoram government allowing those not having voter IDs to be left untreated even if they have COVID-19 and therefore, those without voter IDs shall be at liberty to spread the coronavirus in case of infections. This violates each and every guideline issued by the Government of India to combat COVID-19.”
He said thousands of Chakmas, deleted from the voter list during 1995, were never enrolled and their existence in the electoral rolls prior to 1995 has no bearing. He said as the result of an unofficial ceiling imposed on the Chakmas during electoral revisions, people belonging to the community cannot get enrolled in the voter list every year. Obviously, there are hundreds of Chakmas who were not issued Voter IDs and do not have one. The notification by the health department is part of the continuing discrimination against the minority Chakmas, Paritosh alleged.
He lamented that despite the Chakmas being Indian citizens with Mizoram’s entire western belt having been included under the Lushai Hills in 1898 by the British and the Chakmas accorded Chakma Autonomous District Council under the Sixth Schedule of Constitution since 1972, they continued to face “serious discrimination” in Mizoram.