NESO asks HM to resolve NE problems

GUWAHATI, OCT 11 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 10/11/2018 11:24:38 AM IST


North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) has through a memorandum to Union home minister, Rajnath Singh drawn the attention of the Centre towards several critical issues currently affecting the Northeast region.

The issues proposed in the memorandum included an education policy relevant to the people of the region, repeal of punitive legislation such as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958, acceleration of ongoing dialogue with different armed groups for an early settlement, curbing infiltration of illegal migrants and a comprehensive policy, implementation of National Register of Citizens (NRC) for Northeast besides opposition to Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and long term visa.

NESO comprises Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), Naga Students’ Federation (NSF), Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP), Twipra Students’ Federation (TSF), All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU), Garo Students’ Union (GSU) and All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU), representing eight major students’ movements of the seven NE states. The memorandum also highlighted issues such as economic and infrastructure development vis-à-vis the Act East Policy, employment policy for Northeast, India-Bangladesh land swap deal (2011), stapled visa, settlement of the inter-state boundary issue and special Constitutional status and separate time zone for Northeast.

Acknowledging the positive steps taken by the Centre, the NESO said that the government should not turn away from its responsibility on the issues raised.

NESO warned that if the issues are not addressed in the right earnest, it would be bound to register its protest and initiate a nonviolent aggressive, peaceful agitation, in a manner it deemed fit, until an acceptable solution is found.

“The issues/matters require immediate corrective action since they are long pending matters impacting overall inclusive growth, holistic and sustainable development of the region – its peoples, land, natural resources, environment, biodiversity, economic empowerment, culture and tradition,” the memorandum stated.

NESO demanded that recruitment and admissions in established central universities and institutions should be safeguarded so that people of the region and in states where they are set up are not marginalised and discriminated upon for studies and employment. “Liberal and proper funding and grants should be given to universities in the Northeast so that they can excel and compete globally...,” it stated.

With regard to legislations, NESO said “Time and again, voices have been raised, representations have been made and peoples’ movement have been continuing against enforcing such laws in the region with previous governments but most unfortunately, they had fallen on deaf ears.”

NESO, therefore, appealed to the Union home minister to take cognizance and rectify anomalies and repeal legislations such as the AFSPA, 1958, The Assam Disturbed Areas Act, 1955, The Assam Maintenance of Public Order (Autonomous District) Act, 1953, The National Security Act, 1980 and The Punjab State Security Act, 1953.

Further, it said that present problem facing the region was multi-dimensional but a great part of the crisis relates with unabated influx of illegal migrants which has brought a serious demographic change in the region in particular and other parts of the country in general.

NESO also called for settling inter-state boundary issue immediately by setting up an Inter State Boundary Commission. “Almost all the states in the region have boundary disputes. Nagaland, Meghalaya, Mizoram Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh have boundary issues with Assam while Manipur has a boundary dispute with Nagaland. This is due to the fact that decisions were taken unilaterally and the people living along the border were not taken into confidence” it said.


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