The North East Students' Organisation, the banner organisation of all the influential students unions in the seven north-eastern states, on Thursday shut down the region demanding detection and deportation of illegal Bangladeshi migrants from the region.
In a surged atmosphere that reminded one of anti-illegal migrants' agitation in Assam during early 1980s, thousands of people from all over the region and various ethnic communities and students stormed the streets in Guwahati demanding deportation of all illegal migrants from Bangladesh who have come to the state after 1971 as per the Assam Accord.
The agitators took out a procession along the main thoroughfare in the city under heavy security arrangement the district administration, which was bent upon keeping the procession peaceful and thwarting any attempt by vested forces to create trouble.
NESO adviser Dr Samujjal Bhattacharyya said that five other N-E states -- Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh Mizoram and tribal-dominated areas of Tripura --have been shut down in response to the region-wide bandh called by the NESO.
He informed that representatives of all the NESO constituents from Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and members of All Assam Students Union have come to join force to the NESO-led agitation against illegal migration from Bangladesh.
The participants in the protest march were holding placard which read -- "Illegal Bangladeshi go back", "Implement all clauses of Assam accord", "provide land rights and constitutional safeguard to ethnic people of the N-E', "Update National Register of Citizens (NRC)",
"Refrain from rehabilitating Bangladeshi citizens who have come after 1971 in the name of rehabilitating violence-displaced".
The NESO chairman said former Prime Minister Late Rajiv Gandhi had facilitated signing of Assam Accord in 1985 as a culmination of six-years-long Assam Agitation that started in 1979, but the incumbent UPA chairperson and his wife Sonia Gandhi has failed to implement the provisions of Assam Accord.
All the leaders of NESO constituents including Manipur Students Union, Naga Students Federation, Mizo Students Union, All Twipra Students Union, All Arunachal Pradesh Students' Union (AAPSU), Khasi Students Union and Garo Students Union of Meghalaya, and AASU of Assam while addressing the massive rally emphasised that all the indigenous people of the Northeast should remain united in the tirade against the problem posed by illegal Bangladeshi migrants swarming the region.
Twenty-six organisations of various ethnic groups in the region have sent their representatives to take part in today's massive rally and add decibel to the fresh shouts on the street against illegal migrants.
The NESO leaders demanded immediate action on part of the governments concerned to seal the India-Bangladesh border in the region to stop infiltration across the border, updating of the National Register of Citizens immediately, land rights and constitutional safeguards to indigenous population that is under threat from unabated illegal migrants and implementation all the clauses of Assam Accord.
The NESO leaders also called upon political parties in the region to do away with their general tendency to bank among the illegal migrants to win election and better focus on protecting the rights and facilitating welfare of indigenous population.
The students' body appealed to all MPs from the region to raise the burning issue of illegal migrants in the Parliament.
Meanwhile, the NESO called 12-hour bandh over the same issue today paralysed life in Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur and parts of Tripura. The bandh has affected functioning of government offices, financial institutions and educational institutions in the region while public transport system was thrown out of gear especially in all the capital cities in these states.