Naga Students’ Federation stages sit-in seeking repeal of CAA, AFSPA
Kohima, Aug. 17 (EMN): The Naga Students’ Federation (NSF) staged a sit-in outside its office in Kohima on Wednesday, demanding the Central and state governments to address several unresolved issues in the region.
Student bodies from several north-eastern (NE) states held protests under the aegis of North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) on Wednesday, calling for repeal of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, implementation of Inner Line Permit (ILP) in all NE states, educational policy related to the region, separate NE time-zone, and justice for the victims of the Oting killing, etc., among others.
NSF President, Kegwayhun Tep said at press briefing the protest was held to send a “very strong” message to the respective state governments and the Central government of India on several unresolved issues concerning the region.
Highlighting the NESO’s charter demand, he pointed out that the educational policy related to the NE region should be adopted and it should be based on the culture and history of the people to help protect the indigenous people in the region.
Citing the NCERT-approved social studies textbook of Class 3 that mentioned Bengali, Nepali, and Hindi as ‘spoken languages’ in Nagaland, he said authors and book publishers should know the identity of the Northeast.
He also said that more subjects should be offered at Nagaland University and other universities in the Northeast so that students can study and learn in their own states.
The student body also demanded more research centres, engineering colleges and medical institutes in Nagaland as well as in other NE states.
Pointing out that Nagaland still doesn’t have a functional medical college, he urged the government to make upcoming colleges operational as early as possible.
On ILP implementation
Meanwhile, the NESO has NESO demanded for implementation ILP in the entire NE region, as it is currently implemented only in Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, and Mizoram.
It further demanded the central government to update the National Register of Citizens, 1951 in order to protect the indigenous people of the NE states and sought justice for the Oting killing victims “as early as possible”.
Formulation of a comprehensive policy for the Economic development of the NE region and establishment of an administrative centre of Act East Policy in the region itself were other demands of the student body.
On unemployment problem in the region, the NESO urged the Centre to declare the NE as ‘special employment zone’, particularly in grades III & IV of central offices. On the CAA, the student body said that it would ensure the controversial Act is not implemented in the NE region
The Government of India should look into the issue of people from Myanmar crossing over to NE to escape persecution, like provision of food and shelter and other welfare amenities till the situation improves so that they can return to their respective homes, it stated besides demanding the government to “come out openly in order to shelter the people who came from Myanmar because of the military operation” so that “NE comfortably welcomes them”.
Claiming that the difference in time zone in the NE is limiting the efficiency of work, it insisted on a separate time zone for the region.
In the event of failure to meet the demands, the NESO said its units will come out with more protests in the days to come.