: Spearheaded by Pochury Public Forum (PPF), Pochury Students’ Union (PSU) and Pochury Mothers’ Association (PMA), the Pochury community carried out a rally at Meluri on Thursday protesting against the “step motherly treatment” of the state cabinet decision on reservation of backward job quota. The rally held under the slogan “Give justice to backward and minority tribe Pochury” was the first phase of agitation and participatd by around 5,000 Pochuris including thousands of students. People carrying placards gathered at Meluri local ground and proceeded to the residence of ADC Meluri and submitted a memorandum.
A public meeting was also held at Traffic point where presidents of PPF, PSU, PMA and Pochury GBs union spoke addressed the gathering calling upon them to condemn the “step motherly treatment” and join hands till justice was delivered and demand fulfilled.
An ultimatum to was forwarded to the chief minister through ADC Meluri requesting the CM to review cabinet decision of February 17, 2011 on backward reservation policy and place the tribe at par with eight backward tribes of Nagaland.
The memorandum signed by PPF president, Chulekhu, PSU president, vikuole and PMA president, Machü Joshou stated that Pochury tribe was the only tribe recognized by the government vide notification no. Home-SCTA/3483 dated April 1990 and the youngest tribe and as backward tribe, vide government notification no.RCBT-5/87 dated March 24, 1994 and has been enjoying the backward quota for the last 16 years. It was stated that the rest of the tribes had been enjoying the quota for the last four decades since the inception of the policy in 1973.
The ultimatum contained an expression of disappointment of the Pochury tribe for being particularized in scaling down the quota to 2 % on population ground which the tribe felt was not the basic of backward reservation policy. It was stated that the same yardstick was not applied to other backward tribes. The memorandum also stated that the tribe was totally confused whether reservation was to uplift or discriminate and suppressed the downtrodden people on the pretext of population.
Referring to the representation to Chairman Committee on job reservation of backward tribe by the empowered committee Pochury Public Forum, dated Kohima November 3, 2008, the Pochury community requested the chief minister to take necessary action.
The tribe stated that it has the Highest BPL in Nagaland as per the tribe wise census survey on BPL 2002-07 where it was found that Pochury tribe had the highest rate of BPL at 18.40% (annexure 1), serial no. 8.
On geographical remoteness, the community reiterated that Pochury has the biggest and the oldest sub-division in Nagaland covering half the area of Phek district where connectivity in most of the villages were poor and inaccessible and administered by one ADC and two EACS with a lone police station.
Further, the memorandum stated that Pochury has the lowest number of government employees as per the 1998 state employee census with 476 employees which was at the rate of 0.75 % (ie annexure 2) and 492 employees at the rate of 0.77 % in 2006 (annexure 3) placing the tribe in lowest position among the Naga tribes. Besides, out of 80 government departments (approximately) the tribe was employed only in 30 departments, the memorandum stated and further pointed out that the job distribution among backward tribes in 31 sample government offices as per 2003-04, Pochury represent only two% (annexure 4).
On education, the memorandum stated that in all the 29 villages in Pochury area, almost all the schools were understaffed and that some schools were being manned by a single teacher despite the redeployment policy of the government. It was stated that the community’s appeal were turned to deaf ears resulting to educational backwardness of the area.
With regard to the LDA-cum-computer assistant, NPSC 2011 exam, the Pochuris expressed that the percentage quota enjoyed by the Pochury was 1.5% ie, two post out of 137 at the directorate level and at the district level. They said sharing of posts between the two tribes was unfair as Pochury was given one post out of 10.
Having stated their grievances, the Pochury tribe appealed the chief minister to grant the backward quota at par with the rest of eight backward tribes and review the new reservation policy. The tribe demanded the chief minister to fulfill their demand before March 31 failing which the community would take another course of action for which the community would not be held responsible.