NESO urges PM to expedite northeast peace process

Shillong, March 25 (IANS) The North East Students Organisation (NESO) Monday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to expedite the ongoing peace process with various rebel groups in the northeast states.

“The Indian government must demonstrate its sincerity and commitment to all the ongoing political dialogues with different armed groups operating in the northeastern states,” NESO chairman Samuel B. Jyrwa told IANS on the sidelines of the sit-in demonstrations near Raj Bhavan here.
Over 20 separatist groups in the northeast are operating independent ceasefires with New Delhi, which includes both the factions of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland, the United Liberation Front of Asom and the National Democratic Front of Bodoland.
There are 30 rebel groups active in the northeast with demands ranging from secession to greater autonomy and the right to self-determination.
“A time-frame mechanism with a focus for an acceptable, honourable and solution must be worked out (with the rebels) and there should be no procrastination towards this the initiative,” Jyrwa said.
NESO, an umbrella organisation of different students unions of the northeast states, also asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to repeal the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA); National Security Act, 1980; Punjab Security Act, 1953, and the Assam Maintenance of Public Order (Autonomous District) Act, 1953.
“ASPSA and other anti-peoples’ laws have given security forces in the northeast the power over life and death of citizens with impunity. People from all walks of life have been put into a nightmarish reign of terror,” the NESO chief said.
Demanding early resettlement of the Hajong and Chakma refugees from Bangladesh anywhere except in the northeast region, Jyrwa criticised the the government to grant them Indian citizenship and voting rights.