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Protests greet Nagaland governor

Kohima, March 20: Protest and a blackout welcomed the governor on the first day of the Nagaland Assembly session today.

Several unpaid government teachers appointed under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan today staged a demonstration at the gate of the Assembly secretariat in protest against non-release of their four months salaries.

There are about 2,300 teachers whose salaries have not been paid by the government on the ground that the Centre has not released the fund. The teachers have been boycotting classes since March 10. The Opposition Congress has criticised the government for not releasing salaries of teachers, which has affected the students of government primary schools. The teachers have vowed to continue the agitation till their salaries are released.

As soon as governor Ashwani Kumar entered the Assembly to deliver his speech, the Assembly was plunged into darkness for more than a minute. It is a big embarrassment to the government as recently the Speaker’s office had installed a solar power at the Assembly secretariat to mitigate the power failure.

The governor, in his address, told the house that the state has remained an acutely power deficit state and that efforts are on to establish more power projects.

On the long-pending Naga political problem Kumar said the state government has taken many initiatives to facilitate a peaceful solution, including formation of the Joint Legislators Forum.

“Efforts of the Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR) to forge unity and common approach among the Naga undergrounds are indeed laudable,” he said.

But the governor expressed regret for the prolonged Indo-Naga political negotiation, which he said is wearing thin the patience of the common people who have to face many problems connected with the Naga political movement.

“It is the sincere appeal of my government that both the government of India and the Naga nationalist groups should expedite the peace process to arrive at an honourable political settlement so that the state and its people can pursue their destinies in peace,” Kumar said.