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Eastern Naga students� body to go ahead with agitation

By Correspondent

DIMAPUR, Nov 29 - Rejecting the Nagaland government�s appeal, the Eastern Naga Students� Federation (ENSF) has decided to go ahead with its indefinite agitation by locking down government offices and restricting movement of government vehicles in the five eastern districts of the State from 6 am tomorrow.

However, it said that 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 federation, in an ultimatum, announced that it is going to launch an indefinite agitation 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 has also decided to boycott the Statehood Day celebrations on December 1 and Hornbill Festival commencing from December 1 as part of their agitation.

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

The ENSF said its meeting with Chief Secretary J Alam in Kohima on Saturday ended inconclusive as the State government could not fulfil its genuine demands.

The Chief Secretary assured the ENSF that the government would look into their demands and requested the federation to withdraw their agitation.

An official release said the ENSF was apprised about the formation of a Cabinet sub-committee headed by Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton to look into their 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 also said the ENSF�s representation regarding non-implementation of personnel and administrative reforms office memorandums/notifications relating to its charter of demands was also discussed in the meeting. �The government has sought relevant data from the NPSC and will further examine the 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 percent reservation in jobs in the NSSB for the eastern Nagas.

In a letter to Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Saturday, the NSF said under the existing reservation policy, 25 percent has been allotted to eastern Nagaland tribes, six percent to Chakhesang/Pochury, four percent to Zeliang, two percent to Sumi of Kiphire and four percent to persons with disabilities.

It said the total percentage of reservation in jobs in Nagaland presently stands at 41 percent, which is perhaps one of the highest in the country.

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