GUWAHATI, Dec 1 – There should be special Constitutional status for the North East region with right over land and natural resources, demanded the North East Students’ Organization (NESO). The NESO also asserted that the Central Government would not be allowed to use the region as a dumping ground of foreign nationals.
The NESO, in its three-day annual conference, which concluded in Kohima yesterday, observed that the problem of infiltration of foreigners is affecting not only Assam and Tripura but the other parts of the North East region as well and the Government of India must take a comprehensive plan for dealing with the problem in the entire region.
The NESO demanded that the names of foreigners should be deleted from the electoral rolls and the state governments should also play their parts in this regard. The international border with Bangladesh should be sealed on a war-footing and the National Register of Citizens should be updated. The Government should also announce time-bound programmes to implement all the clauses of the Assam and Manipur accords, the NESO demanded.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, the outgoing chairman of the NESO, Samujjal Bhattacharya said that the students’ body would intensify its movement to put pressure on the Government of India to deal with the problem of infiltration of foreigners.
The NESO, in its conference, dwelt at length on the problems faced by the students of the region and demanded that the Centre should take necessary steps for revamping the education system in the region. According to a study by a non-governmental organization, at least Rs 3,000 crore is going outside the region every year as the students have to go out for higher studies and the NESO demanded that new courses should be introduced in the colleges and universities of the state. The Centre should set up new technical and non-technical educational institutes in the region and there should be a coaching centre for the students who want to appear in the civil services examinations. The NESO also called upon the state governments of the region to ensure that teachers are appointed only on merit.
Bhattacharya said that the NESO also demanded repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act and opposed construction of mega dams in a seismic zone like the North East.