Friday, June 2, 2023

NSF joins NESO protest against CAA, AFSPA


Activists of Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) under the aegis of North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) staged a three-hour sit-in dharna outside its office premises here on Wednesday against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and Armed Force Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and to demand proper implementation of Inner Line Permit (ILP), among others. Similar protests were also held across other North Eastern States under the banner of NESO.
Addressing the gathering, NSF president Kegwayhun Tep said NESO during its executive and federating units meeting on August 3 decided to on a three-hour protest in all the North-eastern States’ capitals against CAA, AFSPA and other issues confronting the region, besides seeking proper implementation of ILP.
Will not allow CAA to be implemented: Highlighting the charter of demands of NESO, he asserted that as the North-eastern States were already occupied by outsiders and illegal immigrants even without implementation of CAA, the Act would not be allowed to be implemented in the region.
He recalled that despite stiff opposition from the North-eastern States, the Central government went ahead and introduced the Bill in Parliament, which passed it in 2019. He alleged that the BJP government was committed to implementing the Act before the next Assembly election, which would not be allowed, he added.
Govt ILP portal non-functional: Tep said even though the State government was claiming that ILP was being implemented, the ILP portal was not-functional. He alleged that many visitors and labourers who had entered Nagaland were not even aware to fill up the ILP form and nor knew that they needed to apply for ILP before entering the State.
He claimed that during a surprise check at Nagaland Gate in 2019, NSF activists detected more than 1,600 persons without ILP, adding that the documents seized then were still under the federation’s custody.
He remarked that the State government talked about unemployment, but outsiders were capturing the local markets, thereby depriving Naga youth of opportunities. In this regard, he urged the government to ensure strict implementation of ILP and also update National Register of Citizens (NRC) 1951.
AFSPA an evil law: Terming AFSPA as an evil law, Tep insisted that the law should be repealed at any cost, lamenting that even the December 4 massacre issue was made to die down without delivering justice to the victims’ families.
He disclosed that the Oting incident was discussed at the NESO meeting where it was resolved to demand that justice be delivered to the victims’ kin without delay, besides demanding repeal of AFSPA, alleging that the armed forces were here to harass and not to protect the citizens.
Wrong portrayal of NE in school textbooks: Tep mentioned that there was flawed representation of the Northeast in CBSE school textbooks and cited an instance of a Class III textbook wrongly mentioning that the official languages of Nagaland, Meghalaya and Manipur were Bengali, Nepali etc.
In this regard, he suggested that book publishers and authors should first identify the facts before publishing the books, stressing that the Centre must adopt an educational policy for the region based on its culture and history.
Demand for more Central institutes: The NSF president further disclosed that NESO had resolved to urge the Centre to establish more Central universities, technical and vocational institutes, medical and engineering colleges and research centres.
In Nagaland’s context, he pointed out that the lone Central University – Nagaland University – offered limited courses as compared to other Central universities. He called for introduction of more courses so that Nagas students did not have to seek education outside the State.
Further, he said Nagaland was the only State without a medical college and that the claim of the State government of having two medical colleges was not correct as they were not functional yet. He demanded immediate operationalising of the two medical colleges, besides establishing more Central technical institutes.
Demand for comprehensive development policy: Tep mentioned that NESO had also resolved to demand a comprehensive policy for economic development of the Northeast, besides setting up the administrative unit of Act East policy in the region itself.
Reserve lower grade posts for NE: To resolve the unemployment problem in the Northeast, he demanded that the Central government must declare the region special employment zone where all grade III and IV staff of Central departments must be reserved for the indigenous people of the region.
Shelter people from Myanmar
He said NESO resolved to demand that the Centre should look into the issue of people from Myanmar crossing over to the Northeast to escape persecution from military rule there by providing them food, shelter and other amenities till the situation improved in their country to help them return.
The stir continued till 2 pm where NSF and All Nagaland College Students’ Union (ANCSU) office-bearers took part.


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