NESO threatens agitation over CAA amid Shah’s implementation plan

Guwahati: The North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) on Wednesday termed the Citizenship (Amendment) Act communal and against the indigenous people of the region, demanding that it be repealed immediately.

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The apex body of all students’ unions of the eight states met in Guwahati, a day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah assured West Bengal BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari that rules regarding the CAA will be framed after the Covid precaution dose vaccination exercise is over.

“We will not accept the CAA. The AASU and others had filed a petition against the law in the Supreme Court, where no hearing has taken place since 2020. We will keep on with our protest against CAA if it is implemented,” NESO chairman Samuel B Jyrwa told reporters.

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NESO advisor Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharjya described the act as “anti-indigenous, anti-Northeast, anti-people and communal”.

“CAA must go. There is no second thought about it. The government is saying the states with Inner-Line-Permit (ILP) and Sixth Schedule areas are excluded from the CAA. But if Assam and Tripura are affected, then the whole of Northeast will be affected,” he added.

The framing of rules for the CAA will pave the way for its implementation. Passed by Parliament in December 2019, the Act is yet to be rolled out due to the absence of rules. The government has cited the outbreak of the pandemic for not framing them so far.

The CAA seeks to provide Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis entering India on or before December 31, 2014 from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after five years of residence here.

Jyrwa said the government has failed in solving the illegal infiltration problem, which is the root cause of the gradual rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the Northeast, especially Assam.

With the porous India-Bangladesh border, fundamentalists are entering the Northeast without much difficulty and the Centre is “not at all serious” to evict the illegal immigrants from the region, said Bhattacharjya.

“India is celebrating 75 years of Independence. In 75 years, not a single medical college in Nagaland and not a single engineering college in Meghalaya have been constructed. Neglect to Northeast is a small word,” he said.

The NESO also demanded constitutional safeguard for the indigenous people of Tripura, implementation of the report by the Centre’s High-Level Committee (HLC) on Clause 6 of Assam Accord and settlement of inter-state border disputes through dialogues.

Besides, the organisation asked for ILP throughout the Northeast and 100 per cent reservation of locals in certain jobs as unemployment is a big issue in the region, Jyrwa said.

“We also demand the full withdrawal of the draconian AFSPA from the entire Northeast. Currently, it is relaxed only in certain specified locations in some states.

“Because of the AFSPA, the Supreme Court has not given prosecution permission yet in the Oting killings of Nagaland. This is an injustice to the people of Northeast,” he added.

The NESO chairman announced that with all its demands, the member organisations will hold protests in all the state headquarters on August 17.

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