Sinlung /
31 May 2012

Students Of Northeast Demand Special Constitutional Status

Guwahati, May 31 : Demanding a special constitutional status for the northeastern states, almost all students' bodies in the region will jointly launch a massive agitation June 7, an official said here Wednesday.

This is for the first time that all the student bodies from the seven northeastern states will hold a joint agitation under the banner of North East Students' Organization (NESO).

"We held the general council meeting of the NESO and decided to launch a massive joint agitation demanding fulfilment of various demands of each organization. Our primary demand is a special constitutional status for the people of northeast India with rights over land and resources," said NESO adviser Samujjal Bhattacharjya.

"The first phase of the agitation will be held June 7 in Guwahati - which is the gateway to the northeast. All the leaders of these students' bodies will converge in Guwahati to make the agitation programme successful," he said.

Bhattacharjya, however, did not specify on the line or form of agitation but said that it would be a united protest of the NESO and that it can be of any form.

"The northeastern region has huge natural resources. But the people of all the states in the northeast have been suffering political injustice since 1947. The large-scale infiltration from neighbouring countries has even changed the demographic pattern of these states. A special constitutional status with rights over land and resources is the only solution to save the northeastern states," he said, adding that NESO decided to launch the joint agitation as individual agitations by each organization in the past had failed to yield any result.

NESO secretary general Gumjum Haider said the first phase of agitation June 7 is a warning to the central government.

"On June 7, we are going to fix a date for the second phase of the agitation during which we are going to demonstrate in front of the Raj Bhavans in each state of the region," Haider said, adding that the agitation would continue until the demands are met.

The other demands raised by the students' bodies include the issue of stapled visa to the people of Arunachal Pradesh by China, withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), the alleged atrocities on northeastern students and other communities in New Delhi, Bangalore and other cities, large-scale infiltration from neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, and inter-state boundary problems, among others.


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