Kohima: The Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) has threatened a state-wide democratic agitation against the state government’s inaction in implementation of the Nagaland Staff Selection Board (NSSB). Beginning with the second phase of agitation on Wednesday, black flags were hoisted across all respective headquarters of its federating units and sub-ordinate bodies along with posters and banners as a sign of resentment against the government’s inaction.
Keeping in mind the threat of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the students’ body, through a consultative meeting on March 16, resolved to keep all mass-based democratic agitations in abeyance but rather resolved to launch an indefinite poster campaign as its second phase of agitation, following the expiry of the 15-day ultimatum that was served to the government.
Addressing a presser on Wednesday evening, Ninoto Awomi, president of NSF, said that the federation was compelled to launch the second phase of agitation as the state government failed to respond to the 15-day ultimatum served by the NSF on February 22. Although the student body refrained from a mass democratic agitation due to COVID-19 pandemic, he said that if the government continues to remain quiet, the third phase of its agitation will attract a state-wide democratic protest against the government.
Awomi recalled that the first phase of its agitation which began on October 30 last year was called off after the state government constituted a committee on Staff Selection Board (SSB) for recruitment of grade III posts in the state. While the committee has submitted its recommendations to the government, Awomi said that no response have been received from the government so far.
Therefore, reiterating its four point charter of demands, the NSF urged the state government to immediately convene a consultative meeting with all stakeholders to deliberate on the recommendations submitted by the SSB Committee. It said that after thorough consultation with all stakeholders, the government must approve and implement the Nagaland Staff Selection Board (NSSB) policy forwarded to the government by the committee.
It also demanded the government to immediately issue a notification scrapping all departmental exams, ban direct recruitment to all Group C posts and notify that all Group C posts shall be requisitioned through open recruitment by the soon to be set up NSSB.
It warned that the third phase of its agitation will be more “severe” with state-wide mass democratic protest if the government fails to meet its demand. Awomi added that NSSB will serve as an antidote to curb the rampant backdoor appointment in the governmental departments and will encourage meritocracy and equal job opportunities for all Naga youths. Awomi further expressed hope that under chief minister Neiphiu Rio’s leadership, “justice” will be granted at the earliest.
As per the apex body’s directive, students of various schools, colleges and universities wore black band/badge along with the uniforms to “register their resentment against the state government to respond positively to their aspiration for promoting meritocracy in the state”.