Some of the government vehicles seized in Dimapur on Monday.

Despite appeals by the Nagaland government, the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) and Eastern Naga Students’ Federation (ENSF) began their indefinite ban on movement of Nagaland government vehicles across the state as first phase of their agitation from 6am on Monday alleging inaction by the state government on their demand.

Both the federations have been demanding that the government streamline the Sarba Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamik Siksha Abhiyan (RMSA) teachers of 2010 and 2013 batches into State Education Cadre. They demanded the government give time-bound assurance to streamline these teachers.

The government said it was taking all due action required on the demand and appealed to both the student bodies not to take the extreme step of agitation, especially at the time of Covid-19 pandemic.

Vehicles on duty for medical services, administration, police, fire and emergency services have been exempted from the purview of the agitation.

In Dimapur, the Dimapur Naga Students Union (DNSU) and Dimapur Eastern Naga Students Union Dimapur (DENSU) today imposed the ban on government vehicles by stationing their members at various strategic locations in the town.

The union members seized around six government vehicles during the day and parked them at Tenemiye complex and other locations here. The vehicles seized in Kohima were parked in Naga Solidarity Park Kohima.

DNSU president Sedevilie Angami told this reporter the seized vehicles will not be released till the government complies with the demand. He also said the students will not be responsible if anything happens to the seized vehicles.

He said as directed by the NSF and ENSF, the agitation will continue till continue till their demand is not met. “We will ensure that the government listens to the grievances of the teachers,” he asserted.

Angami said the agitation on the first day passed off peacefully and claimed that the district administration is cooperating with them.

DENSU president Bendangmuken said the state government has been ignoring the demands of the SSA and RMSA teachers for about a decade.

He added the government has remained adamant to the demands of these teachers, who have been suffering for years which in turn is directly affecting the career of the students.

Adviser to school education department KT Sukhalu said the government had already agreed in principle to mainstream the SSA and RMSA teachers of 2010 and 2013 batches subject to certain conditions vide Cabinet meeting held on October 3, 2018.

He said the department had apprised the representatives of NSF and ENSF on September 10 of the status of the issue at hand.

Sukhalu also said the chief secretary had issued a clarification on the matter on October 10 and that the department has been taking all due actions required.

Sukhalu said these two batches of SSA and RMSA teachers were recruited through the respective district selection boards and it took the department time to undertake massive exercise to crosscheck records.

He also said the comments of personnel and administrative reforms and finance departments on the issue had been received. He added that the school education department is in the process of submitting the issue to the cabinet.

Bhadra Gogoi

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