Illegal migrants issue: Bandh disrupts normal life in North East
Normal life was today disrupted in Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh due to a 12-hour bandh called by the North East Students' Organisation to protest "harassment" of students from the region in other parts of the country and influx of illegal migrants.
Shops, markets, business establishments, government and private offices, banks and education institutions were mostly closed in the four states due to the bandh which began this morning, according to official reports.
A massive rally was organised in Guwahati in Assam where NESO chairman Samujjal Bhattacharjee said, "Former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi signed the Assam Accord in 1985, but Sonia Gandhi, the UPA chairperson, has failed to implement it and stop illegal migration.
"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who represents Assam in Parliament, has also failed in this context," he alleged.
He blamed Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi for trivialising the issue and said that the recent exodus of students and professionals to the Northeast following the riots in lower Assam was the outcome of the government's apathy.
"This is not a Hindu-Muslim issue, but the problem is due to illegal migration from Bangladesh and our movement will continue till our demands and all illegal migrants, irrespective of religion who have come after 1971 leave," he said.
The Guwahati rally was attended by 26 student organisations.
The NESO demanded immediate detection and deportation of illegal Bangladeshis from the North East, updating of the National Register of Citizens and its completion before the next Lok Sabha polls, sealing of the India-Bangladesh border before the next Lok Sabha polls and no land settlements of migrants who arrived after 1971 in Kokrajhar, Chirang, Dhubri and Bongaigaon districts in Assam.
A report from Imphal said that transport services in Manipur and with neighbouring states were also cancelled with roads in the state capital deserted and people remaining indoors. Attendance in government and private offices was nil.
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