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Nagaland Govt’s decision to hold Hornbill Festival draws flak
 DIMAPUR, Oct 23 - The Opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) today termed the decision of the Nagaland Government to hold the annual Hornbill Festival in December this year as a “suicidal mission”.

 The NPF urged the Government to withdraw its decision for safety of the people of the State. The party’s press bureau, in a release, stated that the People’s Democratic Alliance Government has decided to hold the festival despite knowing that COVID-19 positive cases are increasing every single day in the State.

“Even if the celebration may be in a virtual form, a festival is a festival, and in any festival celebration, without people’s participation, there cannot be any celebration,” the party said.

According to the NPF, if the Government intends to celebrate the festival without participation of the public, there is no need to hold any celebration at all. The Opposition party sought to know how safe it is to celebrate the Hornbill Festival in whatever way the Government is contemplating to do so. Can the Government assure the Naga public that nothing will happen to any participants because of the virus, it asked.

The NPF said that the State Government must be aware that the positivity rate in Nagaland has surpassed the national rate, which clearly indicates that the State has a higher transmission rate than the national rate.

“We all consider the Hornbill Festival as a perfect opportunity to improve our tourism sector and a time to showcase our traditional heritage to the outside world,” the NPF said. However, the party cautioned that the influx of international and domestic tourists from different places into the State during the festival would prove catastrophic due to the current pandemic situation.

It added that with the increase in community transmission of the virus, the celebration of the festival in the State will prove to be a complete disaster.

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