Tuesday, May 30, 2023

NESO organizes protests againt CAA across NE


Various apex students’ bodies in different state of the Northeast spearheaded the protest to repeal CAA. Here is a report from different NE states.
AASU hits the streets in Assam
After a gap of over two years, protests against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) resumed across Assam on Monday.
Protests by members of the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), a part of the North East Students’ Organisation (NESO), was held in all the district headquarters of the state amid heavy security arrangements.
In Guwahati, the protests were held outside the ‘Swahid Bhawan’, the AASU headquarters.
NESO advisor Samujjal Bhattacharjee told reporters that the people of Assam can never accept the CAA and it has to be repealed.
“We had to suspend our protests two years ago due to the prevailing pandemic but have now decided to renew it so that the CAA is not implemented,” he said. “The anger against this unjust law, however, has been burning in the hearts of the Assamese people and our protests against it will continue till it is repealed,” he added. The students’ organisation also demanded an end to the problem of radicalisation, a permanent solution to the foreigners’ issue and the complete removal of the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) from the entire Northeast.
It also demanded constitutional safeguards for the indigenous population of Tripura, resolving the problem of Chakma-Hajong refugees in Arunachal Pradesh and a separate recruitment board for the youths of the Northeast.
NESO stages sit-in protest in Shillong and West Garo Hills
The Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) staged a sit-in-protest at the U Kiang Nangbah statue in Meghalaya’s state capital Shillong, while the Garo Students’ Union activists protested in Tura, the district headquarters of West Garo Hills.
“We will continue to put pressure on the central government to scrap the contentious CAA and implement the Inner Line Permit across all Northeastern states to protect the identity and land of the indigenous communities,” NESO Chairman Samuel Jyrwa said.
The CAA seeks to remove hurdles in the way of eligible migrants from six minority groups from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan from getting Indian citizenship.
Jyrwa said the NESO also demanded repeal of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), 1958, an update of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam as per the 1951 census, and the implementation of the Assam Accord immediately.
The NESO also demand a solution to vexed inter-state boundary as well as international border issues immediately.
On the refugee problem in the Northeastern states, the NESO urged the government to solve the refugee issue of Chakma and Hajong of Arunachal Pradesh and to look into the issue of ethnic Myanmarese citizens crossing over to Northeastern states to escape persecution like provision of food and shelter and other welfare amenities till the situation improves so that they can return to Myanmar. The NESO also asked the central government to declare North East special employment Zone and all the grade III & IV of central offices must be reserved for Northeastern people cent percent.
“The government must provide special constitutional status for NE people with rights over land and natural resources and formulate a comprehensive policy for economic development of the region,” Jyrwa said, adding that the administrative centre of “Act East Policy” must be establish in the North East region itself.
Mizo student body demands withdrawal of CAA, AFSPA
Mizoram’s apex student body Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) on Wednesday staged a demonstration in Aizawl demanding withdrawal of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.
The protest was made in response to a call given by the North East Students’ Organisation (NESO), the umbrella body of major student bodies in the eight North-eastern states.
In the sit-in held at the MZP office here, supporters of the organisation demanded that the Centre revoke CAA and AFSPA from the region.
It also asked the central government to resolve the inter-state boundary disputes in the Northeast and the problems faced by the states of the region along the international border.
The MZP demanded that an education policy be framed to suit the culture of the people of the region.
Its other demands included providing relief to the Myanmarese refugees staying in the Northeast and declaration of a separate time zone and special employment zone for the Northeast.
Manipur demands more effective ILP
Members of the All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU) on Wednesday staged a protest at the gate of AMSU head office in Imphal’s DM College campus. The protest was staged to join North East Students Organization’s protests across the north eastern states against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). “Repeal CAA” , one of the placards displayed during the protest read, while others read, “Implement ILP system in the entire NE region”, “Update NRC”, “Repeal AFSPA, 1958”, “provide special constitutional status for NE people” etc.
Protesters also shouted various slogans demanding introduction of Inner Line Permit System (ILPS) in the whole of the northeast region to safeguard the indigenous communities and separate education policy for the region.
AMSU president Haobijam Chalamba Meitei said that if the Indian government was sincere enough to develop the region at par with the other parts of the country, the 12-point charter of demands placed by NESO must be addressed.
The demands were in the interest of the people of the region, he said, while observing that the region will continue to lag behind unless the multiple issues plaguing the people of the region are addressed first.
He said that in order to protect the indigenous communities of the region, a special constitutional provision was needed besides placing the whole NE region under the inner line permit regime.
He further pointed out that t the way the ILPS is currently implemented in Manipur needs to be reviewed as it includes no provision to safeguard the indigenous communities of the state.
“The ILPS introduced in Manipur is only for namesake. It has no provision to safeguard the indigenous communities of the state,” he said.
The Central government must consider a special constitutional provision for the NE region while repealing the CAA. The CAA will one day become a big challenge to the existence of the indigenous communities of the region, he asserted.
The AMSU president also demanded complete repeal of the AFSPA, 1958 from the entire northeastern region, including the state.
He further said that the existing inter-state boundary disputes need to be resolved for the peaceful coexistence among people of the region and urged the Centre to also settle the international border issues.
The region also needed a separate education policy which would be based on the cultural and history of the region, he added.
The separate policy must focus on setting up more universities, technical and vocational institutes, medical and engineering colleges, and research centres, he said. The region also needed a separate time zone so as to bring development at par with other regions of the country, he added.
AMSU held the protest under the banner NESO, he said, adding that AMSU will launch various forms of agitation under the banner of NESO till the demands are fulfilled.


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