MHA ‘assures’ to look into several issues confronting North East

MHA ‘assures’ to look into several issues confronting North East

ITANAGAR, Oct 10: In response to a slew of demands made by a joint NESO (North East Students’ Organization) delegation including ‘Stapled Visa’, Chakma-Hajong refugees and Siang river issues concerning the state of Arunachal Pradesh, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has assured to positively look into the same, however, without giving any precise period.

A team of NESO led by its advisor Dr Samujjal Bhattacharjya and chairman Samuel Jrywa along with the representatives of all its constituent organizations viz All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU), All Assam Students’ Union, All Manipur Students’ Union, Khasi Students’ Union, Garo Students’ Union, Twipra Students’ Federation, Mizo Zirlai Pawl and Naga Students’ Federation called on the Union Minister at his official chambers in New Delhi today.

On the occasion, the NESO team submitted a representation relating to various issues of common interest in the entire region, which includes among others separate education policy for NE, speeding up of the ongoing dialogue with different armed groups for an early and negotiated settlement, infiltration of illegal immigrants, NRC for entire North East, economic and infrastructural development vis-à-vis Act East Policy, employment policy for NE, Indo-Bangla Land Swap Deal 2011, settling of inter-state boundary issue, special constitutional status and separate time zone for NER.

While apprising the Home Minister of numerous issues concerning the state of Arunachal Pradesh, Dr Bhattacharjya highlighted the problems due to the vexed Chakma-Hajong refugees issue in the state. It was strongly emphasized that the NESO fully endorses the demand of the AAPSU with regards to the refugees and it was also reiterated that they should be immediately deported.

The long pending ‘Stapled Visa’ issued to the people of Arunachal Pradesh travelling to China was also raised in the meeting. The need for a strong response to this “nefarious” act by the Chinese Govt needs to be strongly countered, pressed the delegation.

Blackening and muddying of Siang River since past one year was also put forth by the NESO team. Siang river which becomes Brahmaputra in Assam is the lifeline of the people in both these states. Reportedly, direct hand of Chinese Government cannot be ruled out, it felt. Strong action was demanded from the Government of India regarding the Siang river crisis. A boundary commission was also demanded to be immediately constituted exclusively for the NE states to sort out the inter-state boundary problems among various states of the region.

Giving a patient hearing to the visiting team, the Home Minister assured to positively look into all the demands placed before him. However, no specific timeline was given.

Later in the evening, the Joint NESO delegation also had a separate meeting with Khiren Rijiju, MoS Home at his official residence. He was also apprised of the numerous problems faced by the people of NE states.

A seven-member AAPSU team led by its GS Tobom Dai, who have been campaigning in the national capital since 5th Oct last, was also part of this historic delegation as it was for the very first time that the NESO along with all its constituent allies had assembled at the national capital and had any official sitting in the Home Ministry, Govt of India.

A sit-in protest by the NESO, which was scheduled at the Jantar Mantar tomorrow, has also been deferred, according to a release from AAPSU.

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