Published September 6, 2012 | 11:29 am
Guwahati: The 12-hour shutdown called by the North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) in six northeastern states Thursday over various demands, including the entry of migrants into the region, saw a near total response in the region except in Left-ruled Tripura.
Schools, banks, government offices and commercial establishments remained shut during the dawn-to-dusk shutdown in states like Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram and vehicles remained off the roads in these states.
In Tripura, the shutdown remained partially successful where it was observed only in some tribal pockets.
Thousands of protesters from all walks of life participated in a rally in Guwahati, the largest city of Assam.
“The northeast must become one in demanding the central government to find out and deport all the illegal foreigners living in this part of the country,” NESO advisor Samujjal Bhattacharyya said while addressing the rally.
“The then prime minister late Rajiv Gandhi had signed the historical Assam Accord. However, his wife and Congress president Sonia Gandhi who is also the chairperson of UPA government failed to implement the accord,” Bhattacharyya added.
NESO secretary N. S. N. Lotha also urged the people from the region to “get united in saying that there is no place for illegal migrants from Bangladesh in the northeast”.
General secretary of the Northeast MP Forum and former union minister Biren Baishya said the Asom Gana Parishad raised the issue of “illegal migration from Bangladesh” in parliament several times in the past and that his party would keep on doing that.
“I have told the central government several time that infiltration is not the problem of Assam or northeast alone but of the entire country,” Baishya said.
No untoward incident was reported during the rally.
A total of 26 organisations of various ethnic communities had extended their support to the bandh called by NESO.
The student outfit is demanding deportation of illegal Bangladeshi migrants, implementation of the Assam Accord in a fixed time frame and revision of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) before the next Lok Sabha polls.
Their other demands include immediate sealing of the porous India-Bangladesh border and an assurance from government that no illegal migrant would be settled in the Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Districts (BTAD), where violence erupted recently.