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NSF suspends stir

Ao Students’ Conference (AKM) volunteers intercepting a government while enforcing the NSF’s ban in Mokokchung town, Friday. (NP)
Published on 29 Nov. 2008 12:41 AM IST
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Following a written assurance from the chief minister to introduce a bill in the next session of State assembly making legal provision for fixing the maximum length of service for the state government employees, the Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) has suspended its ongoing agitation and also called off the proposed 12-hour state-wide bandh on December 1. The NSF, which Friday undertook its third phase agitation in the form of banning movement of government vehicles, called off the agitation at 4 p.m, two hours before the expiry of the ban timing after NSF representatives met with chief minister Neiphiu Rio, his cabinet colleagues and government officials at the chief minister’s residential office around 3 p.m, in presence of representatives from Naga Hoho and Angami Public Organization (APO). “I write this to assure the NSF that State Government will introduce a bill in the next session of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly of Nagaland to make legal provision for fixing the maximum length of service for the State government employees,” the chief minister said in his written assurance. The State government also said it would pursue with sincerity the Civil Review petition filed on November 27 in the Kohima bench of Gauhati High Court, praying for review of earlier judgment of the Gauhati High Court dated January 18, 1993, which had restrained Nagaland Government from fixing the length of service. “With these assurances, the NSF is requested to call off their ongoing on the above issue agitation,” stated the state chief minister. Disclosing the outcome of the meeting to mediapersons, NSF president Imchatoba Imchen appreciated the chief minister and his cabinet colleagues for their “goodwill and wisdom towards the plight of the younger generation.” Imchatoba however said the NSF would be not be “sleeping, but meticulously working” until the bill was legislated. Meanwhile, Friday’s banning of movement of government vehicles by the NSF passed off peacefully with no reports of any untoward incident. In Kohima, Mokokchung and Dimapur, NSF volunteers were seen enforcing the ban on the streets as early as 8 a.m, even as police and IRB personnel also kept vigil to ensure unrestricted movement of government vehicles. In Kohima and Dimapur, a number of government officials were seeing traveling in their private vehicles, while others attended office by hiring local taxis and autorickshaws. According to an official bulletin, the ban had little impact on the normal functioning of the Nagaland Civil Secretariat, the centre of the government, as officers and staff managed to reach their offices through other means of conveyance. NSF vice president Charles Lotha said a number of government vehicles were detained during the bandh including more than ten in Kohima, Dimapur (30), Mokokchung (25), Diphupar (15) and Wokha (6). NSF general secretary Hetoi Chishi thanked all the federating and subordinate units, civil societies, college students and authorities and general public for the support and cooperation during the agitation.

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