ENSF President Sepili Sangtam and NSF President Ninoto Awomi addressing a press conference on Sunday

Kohima: Despite appeals from the state government to call off the proposed bandh on vehicular movement of government registered vehicles, the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) and the Eastern Naga Students’ Federation (ENSF) have announced their decision to proceed with the agitation from Monday.

Addressing a press conference on Sunday evening, Sepili Sangtam said that the two federations have received letters from the adviser of school education and the chief secretary to call off the proposed agitation.

He said that the student bodies have studied the contents and are not satisfied. After thoroughly deliberating, the student bodies unanimously decided to agitate against the government.

To proceed with the democratic agitation, he said that the two federations have issued a clear directive to the federating and sub-ordinate bodies to agitate democratically.

As part of the first phase of agitation, the federations will be conducting a state-wide bandh on vehicular movement on government registered vehicles bearing NL 10 and NL 11 vehicles for an indefinite period from 6 am on Monday till further communiqué from the two federations.

The keys of defaulting vehicles will be seized and released only after their demands are met by the state government.

Also Read: Nagaland: Students impose ban on movement of govt vehicles from Oct 12

Ninoto Awomi, President NSF said that the response of the state government “just saying that it will resolve the issue at the earliest” is not satisfactory as it felt that the government “will break the issue indefinitely”.

Therefore, the student bodies are “left with no option but to reiterate on the proposed agitation” till the government “give us stipulated time-bound assurance” to resolve the issue.

Recalling the past, he said that when the Nagaland Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Teachers’ Association (NSSATA) were protesting against the government, the NSF and ENSF had intervened on the request of the government.

On June 12, 2018, an agreement was signed between the School Education department and the Nagaland Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Teachers’ Association (NSSATA), NSF & ENSF where the Department agreed to rectify the nature of appointment of SSA teachers of 2010 & 2013 batches basing on appointment order, RTI reports and advertisement and other relevant documents.

Later on October 3, a Cabinet meeting decided in principle to bring the teachers of all 2010 & 2013 batches of SSA and RMSA teachers into the mainstream of school education cadre, following which an office memorandum was issued by the cabinet’s secretariat on October 5.

A 30-day ultimatum was served to the state government by the two federating units on September 2 to mainstream these teachers into the school education cadre.

He said that after the expiry of the ultimatum, an additional 10 days were given and the response received from the state government was “not satisfactory”.

Awomi said that “just writing a letter” to the federations “simply saying that the government is sincere and that the govt will resolve this issue at the earliest” is not satisfactory, he said.

The announcement of the bandh was made after the expiry of the ultimatum. The federating units and subordinate bodies to ensure that bandh is implemented effectively.

Also Read: Nagaland: Tribal, student bodies differ on govt vehicle movement ban

While the Angami Public Organization (APO) requested the student bodies to call off the agitation and warned of agitation within its jurisdiction, Awomi said that it has received the letter from APO and is writing back to them to reconsider and appeal for their support “as it is a genuine issue”.

Awomi said that the NSF and ENSF have the support of all units, including the Angami Students’ Union (ASU) and all its federating units will be conducting the bandh within its jurisdiction.

The ASU, in a statement, said acknowledged the concern of APO–the apex tribal body APO , the student body assured that “any activity related to COVID-19 or the Naga solution will not be hampered”.

“Hence, with no malice or ill intention, we are of the considered opinion that the government should by virtue of its existence as a welfare state cannot and should not deny people of its commitment made to its citizens. We see no reason whatsoever that this matter should not be given due justice”, the student body added.

Several student bodies, including the Dimapur Naga Students’ Union (DNSU), have openly extended its support to the NSF and the ENSF and called for the proposed bandh within its jurisdictions.

Also Read: Nagaland students to launch indefinite strike over mainstreaming of teachers

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