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Kohima/Shillong, April 13 – The North East Students’ Organisation (NESO), an apex body of eight student bodies, has demanded complete withdrawal of AFSPA and execution of Inner Line Permit (ILP) in the entire region for the safeguard and welfare of the indigenous people.
NESO chairman Samuel B Jywra on Thursday said that the NESO has been agitating in support of its demand of complete removal of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958 — known as AFSPA and implementation of the ILP in all the northeastern states.
While talking to the media, he said that the people of the northeastern states region have faced a “lot of atrocities” because of AFSPA, with the latest being the killing of 13 daily wager earners in a case of “mistaken identity” at Oting in Nagaland’s Mon district in December, 2021.
The Union Home Ministry in two phases in 2022 and 2023 has reduced disturbed areas under AFSPA in Nagaland, Assam and Manipur but in certain areas the act remains effective.
The AFSPA, which is sometimes termed by certain political parties and NGOs as “draconian law”, allows the Army and other central para-military forces to conduct raids and operations, arrest anyone anywhere without prior notice or arrest warrant.
It was lifted from Tripura in 2015, in Meghalaya in 2018, and in Mizoram in the 1980s.
NESO chairman said that for the overall safeguard and welfare of the indigenous people of the region, ILP must be executed in all the northeastern states.
The ILP had been in force in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram. On December 11, 2019, it was promulgated in Manipur, to allow an Indian citizen into the ILP enforced areas for a stipulated period with the written permission of the state and competent authority.
The main aim of the ILP system is to check settlement of other Indian nationals in these states to protect the native population. Protection is also extended to the indigenous people with regard to land, jobs and other facilities.
The ILP under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 is an official travel document that allows an Indian citizen to visit in the ILP enforced state and areas for a limited period and with a specific purpose.
Jywra also demanded that Common University Entrance Test (CUET) should not be conducted in the northeastern states as students of the region have not being getting higher education skill, facilities and support compared to other parts of the country in many aspects.
NESO advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya demanded that illegal Bangladeshi immigrants in the region be identified and deported at the earliest.
“NESO strongly opposed the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA),” he said.