GUWAHATI, March 27 – The North East Students’ Organization (NESO) today warned the Union Government of a ‘peaceful but intense’ agitation unless it came out with a comprehensive policy to solve the burning issues of the region.
The charter of resolutions that the NESO adopted in its last general council meeting on Friday includes demand for the formation of a Special Education Council for the North East, a comprehensive policy to tackle the burning problem of illegal influx, update of the National Register of Citizens, scrapping of draconian laws like the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA), declaration of the NE as a special economic and employment zone, besides declaring a separate time zone for the region.
NESO chairman Dr Samujjal Bhattacharya, while speaking to mediapersons, today said, “Since Independence, the North East has suffered nothing but political injustice and economic exploitation, and we demand that the region be given a special constitutional status with rights over land and natural resources.”
Referring to the existing education system, the student leader alleged that the Government had failed miserably to safeguard the interest of the student community of the region and that there was a need for an overhaul of the system.
“An unofficial survey done by an NGO reveals that every year around Rs 400 crore goes out of the region in the name of students pursuing higher studies outside the region, which is very alarming,” he said.
The NESO, an umbrella organisation of the student bodies representing the north-eastern States, also decided to organise an NE MPs’ meet soon to put pressure on the Prime Minister and other top Central leaders over its demands.
Dr Bhattacharya also said that the student body would take to the streets of the national capital after the Parliament session as a mark of protest.
NESO general secretary Gumjum Haider, while calling for giving a special impetus to the demand for a special time zone for the NE, asserted, “If the Union Government wants regional imbalance to go, it must grant us a special time zone, which will not only help us to prosper on the economic front but also improve the people’s standard of living, besides boosting education and sports.”