The North East Students Organisation has identified illegal immigration from Bangladesh as a threat to India and said it will stand with Tripura’s indigenous people over the demand for a “special constitutional safeguard” for the state with “vast federal authority”.
At its sixth general conference held from Thursday to Saturday, the organisation reiterated that the revision process for the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam was not “fully correct” and demanded that it be re-examined. It also called for preparing the NRC in all other Northeast states with appropriate cut-off years.
The organisation’s comments on a “special constitutional safeguard” come amid TIPRA Motha party’s demand for Greater Tipraland, or a separate state for tribals. Motha rules the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council, and the conference was held at Khumulwng, the town that hosts the council’s headquarters.
“The House also unanimously adopted a resolution to demand a special constitutional safeguard for Tripura with vast federal authority. NESO and the people of the Northeast will always stand shoulder to shoulder with the indigenous people of Tripura to protect and uplift their identity, culture with rights over land and natural resources,” a statement from the organisation said, referring to the conference as ”House”.
The statement also said the organisation, a conglomerate of eight student bodies from different Northeast states, was of the view that illegal infiltration by foreigners was a “very serious threat to the identity and security of the indigenous people” of the region.
The conference resolved to take proactive steps on a “war footing” over the issue, the statement said, adding that the organisation would keep taking it up with the central and state governments.
The conference wanted the government to introduce inner-line permits in all Northeast states where the system is not in force, implement provisions of the 1985 Assam Accord and repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (Afspa).
A separate time zone for the Northeast, declaration of flood and erosion in the Northeast as a national problem, permanent resolution to inter-state boundary disputes in the region, and inclusion of the Kokborok, Khasi and Garo languages in the 8th schedule of the Constitution are among the other demands made by the organisation at the conference.
The conference also demanded more job-oriented courses and professional and technical institutes in the Northeast. It said education should be location-specific and that the curriculum should include the traditional values, culture, history and geography of the region.
The organisation also urged the central government to make Northeast a “special employment zone” and set up placement and employment exchange infrastructure across the region.
General secretary Sinam Prakash Singh, chief advisor Samujjal Bhattacharjya, chairman Samuel B Jyrwa and secretary general Mutsikhoyo Yhobo were among the leaders of the conglomerate who attended the conference.
The conglomerate comprises the All Assam Students’ Union, Khasi Students’ Union, Garo Students’ Union, All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union, Naga Students’ Federation, All Manipur Students’ Union, Mizo Zirlai Pawl and the Aizawl Twipra Students’ Federation.