Imphal: A group of students under the banner of All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU) held a protest in Imphal on Wednesday showing solidarity to the demands of the North East Students Organization (NESO).
The protest held at the gate of AMSU head office in Imphal’s DM College campus was a part of NESO protest programme across the north eastern states to fulfil their various demands.
Updating of NRC with 1951 as a base year, repeal of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958, introduction of educational policy related to NE region, economic development, implementation of Assam accord, solving of unemployment problem, introduction of special constitutional status, separate time zone and other refugee problem, were the other demands of the NESO.
The AMSU is a constituent apex body of the students’ bodies of the northeast states.
The leaders of the AMSU said that they held the protest pressing for implementation of a 12-point charter of demands placed by the NESO to the government of India.
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Placards read as “Implement ILP system in the entire NE region”, “Update NRC”, “Repeal AFSPA, 1958”, “provide special constitutional status for NE people” etc. were displayed during the protest.
Protesters also shouted various slogans while pressing to address the demands of the NESO which include among others, repeal of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and extension of the Inner Line Permit System (ILPS) in the whole of the northeast region.
Talking to reporters on the sideline of the protest, AMSU president Haobijam Chalamba Meitei insisted that the government of India should address the 12-point charter of demands of the NESO immediately.
He said that the ILP which has been introduced in Manipur is only for the namesake. It contained no provision to safeguard the indigenous people of the state, he added.
The Central government should implement the ILP system with proper policies in order to safeguard the indigenous people of the state, he further added.
The AMSU president further demanded complete repeal of the AFSPA, 1958 from the entire northeastern region.
He also demanded repeal of the CAA from the NE region considering the impact to be given to the demographic of the region by the provisions of CAA.
While pressing to resolve the inter-state boundary disputes, he also drew the attention of the Centre to settle the international border issues.
The AMSU president further demanded a separate education policy for the northeast states which would be based on the cultural and history of the region.
“If the Centre is sincere enough to develop the region, more universities, technical and vocational institutes, medical and engineering colleges, and research centres should be set up across the region”, he said.
He also pressed the Centre to grant a special constitutional status for the people of the northeast region on the rights of land and natural resources.
The region also needed a separate time zone, he added.
AMSU held the protest under the banner NESO, he said and stated the AMSU will launch various forms of agitation under the banner of NESO until the demands are fulfilled, he also said.