Shillong: The North East Students’ Organisation (NESO), an apex student’s body of the indigenous student groups across the seven Northeastern states, staged sit-in protests in Meghalaya on Wednesday, demanding the repeal of Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
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 the 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 demanded a solution to the 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 back to Myanmar.
The NESO also asked the central government to declare a North East special employment Zone and all the grade III & IV of central offices must be reserved for Northeastern people cent per cent.
“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.