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April 23, 2011

NESO slams Centre for apathy to Irom struggle Northeast-wide Solidarity Movement on April 25 in support of Irom Sharmila’s relentless but non-violent fight against AFSPA

GUWAHATI, April 22: Expressing solidarity with Irom Sharmila Chanu's non-violent struggle for withdrawal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act or AFSPA from the Northeast, the North East Students' Organization (NESO) today slammed the Central Government and also intellectuals, bureaucrats and the metropolitan media for overlooking the issue raised by the "Iron Lady" of Manipur. It warned the Centre not to treat northeasterners as second-class citizens and Kolkata as the last point of the eastern border of the country.
Addressing a press conference here, NESO chairman Samujjal Bhattacharyya said, "We support IromSharmila. We're with her. The Central Government's indifference to Sharmila's campaign for withdrawal of the AFSPA from the Northeast showsthat it does not give importance to the people of the region and considers Kolkata as the last point of the eastern border of the country."
"The Centre does not pay any heed to the issues involving the sentiments of the people of the Northeast, and so dothe metropolitan media. The metropolitan media with their network spread across the country should equally highlight the issues of the Northeast as it does when it comesto the other regions of the country," he said.
Lambasting the Central Government for considering the people of the Northeast as second-class citizens, the NESO leader said, "Besides the metropolitan media, intellectuals and bureaucrats have not taken a positivestand on Irom Sharmila's anti-AFSPA campaign."
NESO secretary general Gumjum Haider said, "Leaders of the Northeast have failed to unite the people of the region. So we have come together. The Centre's stepmotherly attitude towards the people of the Northeast has to stop."
Both Bhattacharyya and Haider demanded that the AFSPA be lifted from the Northeast.
Meanwhile, the NESO has announced aNortheast-wide Solidarity Movement on April 25 in protest against "persistent discrimination and injustice against Irom Sharmila and the people of the Northeast by the Government of India".
NESO officials, with their mouths covered by black clothes, will stage a sit-in Guwahati on April 25. Similar programmes, including lighting of candles in every State capital of the region, will be organized in other States of the region on the same day.
Irom Sharmila has been on a fast-unto-death since past one decadein protest against the killing of 10 innocent civilians by the Assam Rifles in November 2000 in Manipur. She is force-fed. (SentinelAssam)

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