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NESO Leaders Visit Sharmila With ‘We Are With You’ Message

NESO leaders paying a visit to Sharmila. Image Credit: Sangai Photo

IMPHAL, Apr 26: A team of the North East Students’ Organization (NESO) leaders led by its chairman Dr Samujal today visited hunger striker Irom Chanu Sharmila at JN Hospital security ward.

Showing full solidarity to the unsurpassed crusader against inhuman laws, the NESO leaders encouraged Sharmila saying that all the people of the North East would support her.

Dr Samujal said that politicians and media should focus their attention on Sharmila and her unparalleled struggle.

On her part, Sharmila asked the NESO leaders to convince the Chief Minister of Manipur to repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and support the struggle of the North East people.

She also called upon the people to elect another Chief Minister who can empathize with the suffering people.

She observed that the Government is little concerned neither with the suffering of the people nor with their security.

Later speaking to media persons at AMSU head office, Dr Samujal said that their visit to Imphal was to extend solidarity to Sharmila’s struggle.

The student organization representing the North East staged a protest at Guwahati yesterday in support to the Iron Lady’s cause and campaign, Samujal said. He said that the protest demonstration was participated by representatives of different students’ unions of the North Eastern states.

“We are coming here to unite all the people of the North East and fight against the Central Government for not responding to the myriad issues of the region in positive manner”, he said.

While acknowledging Ana Hazare’s fasting for 72 hours demanding enactment of an anti-corruption Act which was immediately responded by the Central Government, the NESO leaders decried New Delhi’s total indifference to Sharmila’s campaign who has been fasting for the last 10 years surpassing even Mahatma Gandhi.

They asked the Central Government to review and change their attitude to the North Eastern people who have been fighting against draconian laws.

Samujal said that NESO would support Sharmila’s campaign and join the struggle for repealing AFSPA.

All the Chief Ministers and Ministers of the seven States of the North East region should come forward and support Sharmila and work collectively for scrapping AFSPA.

He also questioned the motive behind imposing AFSPA for such a long time in the region whereas other States affected by Naxals have been spared from the draconian Act.

“If we are really Indians, then the Government of India should listen and show due concern to the protracted issue. Sharmila is not alone in her crusade against AFSPA”, Samujal said. If the 72 hours of fasting by Ana Hazare against corruption could be addressed in no time, then why could not AFSPA be repealed from the region, he asked.  People from the region are being treated as second class citizens and the Government of India has humiliating the younger generations coming from the region.

Former AMSU president Jamesbond lamented that Sharmila’s ten year old campaign has been sidelined all along while Ana Hazare was given national support and recognized as a hero for his agitation which lasted only 72 hours.  In solidarity to the Sharmila’s campaign, candles were lit up across the seven States last night.

Jamesbond informed that NESO leaders would be meeting the Prime Minister on the issue although no exact date has been fixed as yet.     When AFSPA created turmoil and furor in Jammu and Kashmir, a parliamentary team visited the State immediately and assessed the situation. But no Indian leaders have ever visited Manipur even as AFSPA has resulted in massive protest movements lasting for several days.

Jamesbond went on to question why the North Eastern people are being treated as second class citizens and not as mainland Indians.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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