After four days of demonstrating unwavering commitment and resilience, the All Commercial Vehicle Owners’ Association (ACVOA) from Mokokchung, Tuensang, Zunheboto, and Longleng has called off the ‘chakka bandh’ on Tuesday evening following a positive government response.
The breakthrough came in the form of a government notification dispatched through the respective district Superintendents of Police (SPs). The notification informed both commercial and private vehicle owners that pending payments for vehicles requisitioned during the 14th Nagaland State Legislative Assembly Election in 2023 for various election duties will be made beginning November 8, 2023, at the respective SP’s Office.
For Mokokchung district, the schedule is as follows: November 8 for Taxi/Bus/Private vehicles, November 9 for Tata Mobile/Truck/Pick up, and November 10 for vehicles requisitioned from Assam.
Tongpang, President of ANTA Mokokchung, conveyed heartfelt gratitude to the various civil society organizations and the public for their understanding and support throughout the protest.
Lanu Sangtam, President of the Truck Union Tuensang, extended thanks to all volunteers, executive members of every unit, and the President of the Chamber of Commerce Tuensang and her team. He also acknowledged the support received from all Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) under Tuensang District and the Tuensang public.
C Tony Yajem, President of ANTA Longleng, and L Langjong Phom, President of the District Drivers’ Union Longleng, announced the call off of their protests citing “positive response from higher authorities.” Yajem expressed his deep appreciation for the unity demonstrated by the protestors and the resolute support from the public. It may be noted that the ‘call off’ came hours after they requested the Longleng NST to halt their service from 8 November onward.
The government’s announcement also follows with ANTA’s Peren Unit, Kiphire Unit, and Phek Unit declaring their intent to initiate a Chakka Bandh within their respective jurisdictions on November 8, 2023. Meanwhile, in Zunheboto, the Sumi Hoho had been appealing to the protestors for a temporary relaxation as the preparation for Ahuna and the Hoho’s golden jubilee celebrations were underway.
The scenes following the announcement were marked by shared happiness and a sense of victory among the protestors. Mangyang, one of the protesters who also serve as the Vice President of the Mokokchung Two-Wheeler Taxi Association, expressed the toll the four-day protest took, saying, “It’s finally over. 24/7 day and night duty for 4 consecutive days and 3 nights, only God knows how tired I am.”
A sigh of relief and wave of jubilation was evident among the protestors. Hadi, a protestor, shared, “Good news for all drivers and passengers.” Another protestor, Senti, added, “Bandh called off. Service resumes from tomorrow. That is the good news.” Khyano summed up the sentiments, saying,”Very good news. I really thank God, he hears our prayers.”
The ACVOA also expressed its gratitude to the State government, district administration, and police officials for understanding their grievances and meeting their demands. They hope for continued cooperation in the future.