TODAY -

NEDF calls on political parties in North-East with local body election
Source: IT News

Imphal, March 16 2021: North East Dialogue Forum (NEDF) has called on the attention of all the political parties which are actively engaged in upcoming ADC elections in Tripura and in Garo Hills (GHADC), Meghalaya; and in Assembly elections in Assam and a few in Meghalaya.

NEDF consider these elections are very important to debate how the different political party's narratives of the serious issue confronting the people in the region and Tripura and Assam in particular.

A statement said that in Tripura , especially Indigenous people are systematically discriminating in most fronts of development.

For Example from employment /unemployment to our right to land and decision making for our own development in a self determined manner.

For the last many years our indigenous people were killed , torture , illegal arrest , intimi dation,killed, raped our women by the non indigenous people.

All the states in the region including Assam and Tripura are facing graveproblems of freedom of speech and expression and Freedom of assembly and association.

Many citizens and leaders working for human rights issues faced illegal arrest, illegal detention or jail with little due process of rule of law.

he Forum expressed serious concern for all the people in the region stating that the space for civil society is shrinking in a serious manner.

Many people who raised the question about CAA are still in jail to face legal actions which has created an environment of fear, insecurity.

There is unbearable undermining of the rights of the indigenous people specially their land, forest, water etc in the name of development where hundreds and thousands of Indigenous people are in threat for their livelihood and sustainable local economy.

In June 2020 , there was an oil blowout in Bagajan under the Tinsukia district of Assam where hundreds and thousands of land including paddy were destroyed.

Thousands of poor and marginal farmers could not cultivate their paddy field.

There were no harvest in 2020.What are they going to eat ? Is the compensation given on time or sufficient ? In the mid 2020 huge population of migrant workers from the region were returning to their homes from other states of India after losing their jobs.

Most of them had to undergo extremely difficult quarantine situations except few centres.

During the sudden lockdown , many people had to suffer with deep fear.

Hundreds and thousands of people were suffering from lack of food supply, drinking water, medicine or health care etc.

Many pregnant women lost their lives at the time of delivery because they were having the problem of access to hospitals.

Many hospitals were occupied by the Covid patients.

Many laws were passed in the Indian parliament which need serious debate or discussion for rule of law and democracy.

Last Friday (on 5 March 21) EU and India had the Conference where Sweden delegation stated that India and EU are the super power of democracy.

On the other hand, the EU was raising a serious issue of rule of law, human rights, gender issues to India.

In the recent months , people in the region witnessed that the Armed Forces ( Special Power ) Act 1958 extended in Manipur, Assam and Nagaland .

The long standing due demand to repeal AFSPA 1958 is not respected by all the political parties.

Still we do not see any official order of repealing the act.

The act is still there but it may operate in states or districts.

People are still under the rule of quasi military and democtratic government where human rights are under suspension.

Increasing illegal drug trade and wide spread of addiction of drugs among the children and young people in the NE region.

NEDF with deep concern request to all the political parties which are campaigning for the election in Tripura and Assam on the issues given below: 1.What has your political party or ruling party ( BJP in Tripura and Assam ) done for the rehabilitation and reintegration of returnees of migrant workers to their respective home villages in Tripura and Assam? All of them lost their jobs.

.2What is your plan for the coming five years to generate employment opportunities for the young people specially Indigenous people from the poor families? .

3.What are the political commitments of Indian National Congress (INC), BJP, CPI, Naga People's Front, Nationalist People's Party (NPP) etc to protect and promote the space for civil society, rule of law and democracy etc.

4.Please allow NEDF to seek your political opinion and strategies to allow the people to practice the Freedom of Speech and Expression and Freedom of Assembly and Association which are in shrink in the Art.

19 of the Constitution of India and India's International Commitment on International obligation on Covenant of Civil and Political Right (ICCPR) .

5.Please allow NEDF to request your political party to announce your political position on the compatibility of newly amended laws like UNPA 2019 , Sedition law .

NSA etc in line with the Article 21 , 19 etc of the Indian Constitution and International Law.

6.Thousand of cases related to Violence Against women are still pending in many courts in the states which are extremely delayed and thousands of survivors or their families are waiting for justice.

Unfortunately NEDF does not see any prompt strategies of the government who ever are in power to improve the proceedings of the court to deliver justice to the women victims of violence.

7.Please allow us to request all the political parties including BJP and INC to insure the safeguard measures of development or business projects like EIA, DPR , socio-economic assessment, human right impact assessment and cumulative impact assessment to prevent disasters like we experienced in Bhagjan and many other oil or mining related disasters in Tripura which are under the safeguard measures of Government of India, National Human Right Commission and UN Working Group on Business and Human Right.

8.NEDF strongly urge to all the political parties to make a public statement on the their position of the implementation of the recommendation of Jeevan Reddy Commission ( 2005) , Second Administrative Reform Commission , Santosh Hegde Commission of Supreme Court of India and 16 UN HUman Right Council's Special Procedure to repeal AFSPA 1958 and to deliver justice to the victims of AFSPA.


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