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NESO opposes CUET in Northeast


Demands ILP, NRC across the region

DIMAPUTR, APRIL 11: The North East Students’ Organization (NESO) has resolved that it will oppose the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) in the Northeastern region citing that the region has few Central universities and students from the region lag behind in many areas, therefore, it would be unjust for the students of the region to compete with students from other parts of the country, where education is “far superior.”
Addressing media persons following a Change of Guard Programme held at the Tourist Lodge in Dimapur today which saw the announcement of Mutsikhoyo Yhobu as the new Secretary General of the organsiation, taking over from Sinam Prakash Singh, NESO Chairman Samuel B Jyrwa and Chief Advisor Dr. Samujjal Bhattacharya also laid out a string of demands on behalf of the Organization, from CUET to Medical Collage and Assam Accord to ILP, and expressed that the new committee would now reach out to the Government of India and the various State Governments, Governors and Central leaders as well as would undertake agitations in the coming days.
Bhattacharya, on the occasion, highlighted various issues faced by the indigenous people of the Northeastern region and expressed resentment towards the Central Government for not acknowledging these concerns. He criticized the Government for not providing adequate educational institutes, technical, non-technical and professional institutions for the students in the region and emphasized the need for medical colleges in Nagaland, with one starting immediately and another in the near future.
He stated that thousands of students from the region leave their homes for higher studies in cities like Delhi, Bangalore, and Pune, however students who are unable to afford or access higher education rely on the limited resources available in Nagaland and the Northeastern region ~ thus there is a need for more institutes in the area. He noted that more than 300 crores per annum are spent by students leaving the region and underscored the need for a time-bound establishment of a medical college in Nagaland, with full financial support from the Central Government. He said that despite frequent visits to the region by the Prime Minister, Home Minister and other Central leaders, the concerns for the region remain unaddressed.
On China renaming places of Arunachal Pradesh
Jyrwa on the occasion condemned China’s renaming of parts of Arunachal Pradesh and accused the Chinese Government of attempting to grab the land. He called on the Indian Government to show seriousness in dealing with China’s aggressive nature, similar to its efforts in the western part of the country and criticized the Indian Government for not resolving the issue of stapled visas for Arunachal Pradesh residents, which has been impacting them for over a decade, including athletes.
On the same issue, Bhattacharya demanded that the provision of stapled visa should be scrapped and added that many might not even know that such an arrangement continues to exist even after 10 years of governance (by the same Government) and that the Indian Government must show boldness in doing away with the provision.
On illegal immigrants, CAA & ILP
Bhattacharya called for a comprehensive approach by the Indian Government to solve the issue of illegal influx of foreigners in the region and suggested detection, deletion, and deportation of illegal immigrants. He noted that the influx in the Northeast has threatened the identity of the region’s indigenous people and altered the demographic pattern.
He criticized the imposition of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) on the people of the Northeast and demanded its complete withdrawal. He argued that if the CAA is bad for Inner Line Permit (ILP) covered States and 6th Schedule areas, where the Act has been relaxed, it is not suitable for the rest of the region either. He also called for the implementation of the Assam Accord within a specific timeframe, introduction of the ILP in the entire region, and comprehensive National Register of Citizens (NRC) for the entire Northeast
Indo-Naga political issue, AFSPA
Both Jyrwa and Bhattacharya in their address called for a time-bound solution to the Indo-Naga issue that is acceptable, honourable and inclusive.
Bhattacharya said that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) needs to be withdrawn from the Northeast, and talked about the suffering endured by the indigenous people. He mentioned that while after the recent Oting incident and intense protest against it, the GoI has been relaxing areas that fall under the purview of AFSPA, it should be, however, removed in toto from the region.
Other demands & the way ahead
Bhattacharya urged the GoI to treat the Northeast as a special economic and employment zone, transforming it into an economic hub rather than an exploitation corridor. He also demanded a, permanent solutions to border issues, measures to address Assam’s flood and erosion problems, and the inclusion of Kokborok, Khasi and Garo languages in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution.
On question regarding the drug problem in the region and NESO’s stand on it, Bhattacharya called for immediate action by the concerned Governments to evict all drug dealers from the soil of Nagaland and the Northeast and responding to a question about the interstate border crisis that mars the region, he said that it is the Government’s duty to resolve border disputes and NESO’s role in border areas is focused on fostering people-to-people relationships and connectivity.
When asked about the persecution of Christians in the Northeastern states, he stressed that the Government must ensure the protection of every citizen’s faith as per the Constitution of India. He highlighted the unique and positive relationships among people of different faiths in the Northeast, urging the Government to continue protecting and upholding these relationships.
The new NESO executive committee plans to meet Central leaders, State Governments, Chief Ministers and Governors of the Northeastern States to put pressure on them to address these issues. If the Government fails to do so, NESO will undertake democratic agitations and the nature of this movement will be decided at the next executive council meeting to be held at Shillong.
(Page News Service)