Kohima, Sept. 27: The National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) today closed down schools in Nagaland to mark 'agony day' as the Neiphiu Rio ministry silently agonised over the prospect of the once outlawed militant group trying to interfere in more areas of governance.
The NSCN (I-M) yesterday asked all private schools in the state to register themselves with the 'Government of the People's Republic of Nagalim' and add four 'Naga national days' to their list of official holidays.
Institutions that opened this morning in defiance of the diktat were politely asked by members of the militant group to suspend all classes by noon. 'They spoke to our principal and a holiday was declared around noon,' said an employee of Mezhur Higher Secondary School in the state capital.
Though nobody dared to argue with the NSCN (I-M) members, several schools complained to the government about the development. The administration, however, chose not to go beyond condemning the militant group's interference.
The chief minister described the NSCN (I-M)'s act as a manifestation of 'foolishness', but was at a loss for words on how to deal with the situation. 'I will look into the matter. They are not authorised to do such things, and they cannot go to schools like this. The people will go against them if they carry on with such behaviour,' Rio said.
The chief minister had said on Sunday that his government would not allow schools to be closed down by any organisation. He apparently learnt of the NSCN (I-M)'s strong-arm tactics only after a section of the media sought him out for his reaction.
The chairperson of the Ceasefire Monitoring Group, Lt Gen. (retd) R.V. Kulkarni, could not say if the outfit's action was tantamount to violating the ground rules of the truce. 'It is difficult to say whether the NSCN (I-M) has violated the rules,' he said.