ENSF President Sepili Sangtam (front row-second from right) Credit: EastMojo Image

Kohima: The Eastern Naga Students’ Federation (ENSF) on Thursday announced its decision to indefinitely protest against the state government for failing to respond its seven-day ultimatum served to the chief minister on November 18.

Addressing a press conference at the Department of Under-Developed Areas (DUDA) guest house on Thursday evening, ENSF President Sepili Sangtam recalled that before the seven-day ultimatum served to the CM for its demands over Nagaland Staff Selection Board (NSSB) and Nagaland Public Service Commission (NPSC), a representation was submitted.

With no response from the state government, he said that a reminder was made to look at the “genuine and legitimate demands” placed by the ENSF, and then served the ultimatum the CM after it failed to receive any response from the state government.

“We are not happy the way the Nagaland government treats the Eastern Nagas and ENSF,” he said and further informed that this will be the first phase of its indefinite agitation. Although the nature of protest was not disclosed, he said that the federation along with six federating units has unanimously decided to proceed for a democratic protest, following an emergency meeting among them.

Sangtam also revealed that a decision was also made to boycott the statehood day celebration on December 1 and the scheduled virtual hornbill festival.

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“We are living in a democratic, civilised generation. In this democratic state, we the Eastern Nagas are suffering since statehood day,” he said. Justifying that the Eastern Nagas are “deprived”, the student leader said that it has relevant documents framed by the Personnel and administrative reforms (P&AR) which makes their demand “legitimate and genuine”.

Saying that Eastern Nagas does not want “to suffer any more”, he said that “justice and equality” must prevail in the state. Sangtam highlighted that as per its findings from official records, out of 1,30,000 employees in the state government, hardly 6% of the gazetted officers belongs to the six tribes–namely Sangtam, Konyak, Yimchunger, Khiamniungam, Phom and Chang.

He added that for the grade III and IV employees in the state government, hardly 9 to 10% are from these tribes. Some of its demands include that for the composition of NSSB board, the posts of the chairman and the other two members should be rotated amongst the recognised Naga tribes of Nagaland on a roster basis to maintain fair, justice and equality to all tribes and 45% posts be exclusively earmarked for the six tribes of eastern Nagas for 20 years till they are at par with the rest of the other Nagas after which it may be subject to review.

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