Rejecting the Nagaland government’s appeal, the Eastern Naga Students’ Federation (ENSF), as part of its indefinite agitation, has decided to go ahead with its agitation from Monday.

The Eastern Naga Students’ Federation, as part of the agitation, will lock down government offices and restrict the movement of government-registered vehicles in the five eastern districts of the state from 6 am on Monday.

However, the ENSF said offices and movement of vehicles of the district administration, police, health, fire and emergency services and central agencies have been exempted from the purview of the strike.

On November 26, the Eastern Naga Students’ Federation announced to launch an indefinite agitation.

The federation, issuing an ultimatum, announced the stir against the state government for not fulfilling its demands related to the Nagaland Staff Selection Board (NSSB) and non-implementation of personnel and administrative reforms by the Nagaland Public Service Commission (NPSC).

It also decided to boycott the Statehood Day on December 1 and Hornbill Festival commencing from December 1 as part of the agitation.

The federation said the state government would be held solely responsible in the event of any wanted incident.

The ENSF said its meeting with chief secretary J Alam in Kohima on Saturday ended on an inconclusive note as the Nagaland government could not fulfill its genuine demand.

Alam requested the federation to appreciate the government’s serious efforts in dealing with its demands.

He appealed to the federation to withdraw their ultimatum and allow the government to take required decision in the larger public interest at the earliest possible time.

The chief secretary assured the ENSF that the government would look into their demands.

An official release said during Saturday’s meeting, the ENSF was apprised of the constitution of the Cabinet sub-committee, headed by deputy chief minister Y Patton to look into the six-point charter of demands pertaining to the NSSB.

The government has also set up a committee to review the job reservation policy of the state which is headed by the chief secretary.

The ENSF was also apprised that the matter was discussed in the Cabinet meeting on November 25.

The chief secretary told the ENSF that both the committees would require more time to examine all the pertinent issues.

The release said the ENSF’s representation regarding non-implementation of personnel and administrative reforms office memorandums/notifications relating to its four-charter of demands was also discussed in the meeting.

“The government has sought relevant data from the NPSC and will further examine the specific matter and accordingly required action will be taken,” it said.

Meanwhile, the Naga Students Federation (NSF) has opposed the demand of the ENSF for 45 per cent reservation of jobs in the NSSB for the Nagas from the eastern part of the state.

In a letter to Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio on Saturday, the NSF said under the existing reservation policy, 25% has been allotted to eastern Nagaland tribes, 6% to Chakhesang/Pochury, 4% to Zeliang, 2% to Sumi of Kiphire and 4% to persons with disabilities.

It said the total percentage of reservation in jobs in Nagaland presently stands at 41%, which is perhaps one of the highest among the states in India.

The NSF said the very purpose of the demand for setting up the NSSB in the state is to discourage random backdoor appointments and to encourage meritocracy.

“In the given circumstance, if a particular group or community resorts to unreasonable and exorbitant demands, it defeats the purpose of cohesive united stand on an equal footing in a harmonious society,” it said.

The NSF said the total percentage of reservation in the state would increase to 61 percent if the state government meets the demands of the ENSF.

It asked if the very purpose of the “exorbitant demand” made by the ENSF was to “sabotage and derail the long-drawn effort to constitute the NSSB.”

Opposing the ENSF’s demand for 45% job reservation in the NSSB, the Angami Students’ Union on Sunday called the demand totally “unreasonable, unfair, selfish and arrogant”.

“It is entirely and absolutely unacceptable. In any case, such a detrimental factor cannot be allowed to be implemented,” the union said in a release.

The union warned that it will resort to every possible democratic action against the implementation of the ENSF’s demand by the government.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com