North East Students’ Organization (NESO) chairperson Samuel B Jyrwa told reporters in Shillong on August 17 that a sit-in-demonstration is being organized by the student organisation in all the seven states of the Northeast region as the Government of India has ignored the demands which are for the protection of the indigenous people of the region.
NESO on August 17 staged a sit-in-demonstration demanding the Government of India to immediately implement the 12-point charter of demands that includes implementation of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) in the entire Northeast region.
In Shillong, leaders and activists of the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People (FKJGP), Ri Bhoi Youth Federation (RBYF), Hynniewtrep National Youth Front (HNYF), Hynniewtrep Integrated Territorial Organization (HITO) also participated in the protest held amid tight security.
The protest also witnessed displaying of banners some of which read: “CAA is a law for illegal immigrants, ILP is a law for the indigenous people”, “Detect, delete and deport illegal immigrants from Meghalaya”, “The Government of India should grant ILP which is a long pending demand since 1987”, “Save NE to save India”, “Include Khasi language in the 8th Schedule”.
NESO has been demanding to repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958, repeal of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), immediate implementation of the Assam Accord, solving the interstate boundary as well as international border issues, adopt an educational policy for Northeast region based on cultural and history of the region.
The NESO chairperson said the Government of India has not only turned a deaf ear but instead of fulfilling the demands, they have implemented or rather they promulgated the CAA which is against the interest of the indigenous people of the entire Northeast region.
“We, therefore, demand the central government to implement these issues so that our identity is not threatened in the near future,” Jyrwa, who is also the former KSU president, said.
When asked about the next course of action, Jyrwa said the constituent organizations of the NESO will be meeting from time to time to chalk out the future course of action.
“The different constituent organizations like the KSU, GSU, AASU and others who are affiliated to NESO are at their liberty to take out any agitations for the interest of the indigenous people of the entire region,” he said.
On the delay of the Centre to implement ILP in Meghalaya despite a resolution passed by the state assembly in 2019, the NESO chairman said the ILP demand is nothing new as it has been more than 30 years since the KSU has been demanding for its implementation to protect the indigenous people from the illegal influx.
“However, we don’t know the mind of the Centre since they don’t speak clearly or they don’t spell out clearly what they have in mind…it shows that the Government of India is not at all concerns about the preservation of our identity, preservation of our culture, of the microscopic indigenous communities in Meghalaya and other states of the Northeast,” he said.
He reminded that the protest was against the indifferent attitude of the Government of India since its Independence towards the NE states.