A collective interactive meet was organised for the first time by North East MPs Forum, in association with the North India Welfare Society, presented a North East MPs Interactive Meet 2015 at Constitution Club Annexe in New Delhi on Aug. 4 (Tuesday), to discuss the key recommendations of Bezbaruah Committee and memorandum submitted to Prime Minister.
Post Nido Tania death, there has been high level of concern and insecurity among people of North East living in metropolitan cities. Hence, Bezbaruah Commission was formed to address the insecurities and problems faced by Northeastern communities.
The Bezbaruah Committee, commissioned by the Union Government, submitted a comprehensive report with key recommendations in July 11, 2014 for the well-being of Northeast people living in metropolitan cities. Unfortunately, there is a lot more that needs to be done to steer towards the right direction.
There was also a discussion on memorandum submitted by North East MPs Forum to Prime Minister for sustainable, inclusive and holistic development of Northeast.
[highlight highlightColor=”highlight-orange” ]Attendees[/highlight]
MPs who attended the event were Mr Kiren Rijiju (MoS Home), Mr Gaurav Gogoi (Assam MP), Mr Sarbananda Sonowal (MoS Sports), Zhekiho Zhimomi (Nagaland MP), Mr P.A. Sangma (Meghalaya MP), Mr Ninong Ering (Arunachal MP), Mr Jharna Das Baidya (Tripura MP), Thangso Baite (Manipur MP), Mr Jitendra Chaudhury (Tripura MP), Mr Neiphiu Rio (Nagaland MP), Ms Naznin Faruque (Assam MP), Sanjay Singh (Assam MP), Sankar Prasad Datta (Tripura MP), Sanjay Sinh (Assam MP), Thokchom Meinya (Manipur MP) and Mr Kamakhya Prasad Tasa (Assam MP).
Apart from MPs, dignitaries who attended the event were Mr M.P. Bezbaruah, retired IAS officer, Prof Sanjoy Hazarika and Mr Robin Hibu, joint commissioner of police, New Delhi.
There were many concerns and security issues raised by students and NE community leaders at the meeting.
Concerns raised by Mr Kiren Rijiju, MoS Home
Kiren: “Bezbaruah Committee recommendations are well laid-out and every point of Bezabaruah commission will be implemented.”
When asked by an audience if there could be a separate monitoring panel to see if Bezbaruah committee recommendations are fully implemented, Mr Rijiju dismissed it and remarked, “What better monitoring body than MHA itself, who itself is a premiere law enforcing body.”
Mr Rijiju stressed that there should be internal unity among all Northeastern states and states infighting should be stopped. “What I believe is we are prisoners of our own frontiers … Northeastern states are inter-connected. The corridor of one state is connected to two or more states. Hence blocking of national highways and infighting between people should be stopped. There should be unity among Northeastern states too.”
Mr Rijiju stressed that initiatives should not be taken only by police or judiciary, it should also come from the society and people living in it.
Concerns raised by Mr M.P. Bezbaruah, JCP, before MPs
Bezbaruah: “My heart and soul always lies in the Northeast.”
Beginning with this opening statement, Mr M.P. Bezbaruah (retired IAS and also chairman of the Bezbaruah Committee) stressed for stringent laws to deal with crimes against Northeast. He called for adequate support system for rape victims, strong and determined law enforcing bodies, efficient system of justice delivery and time-bound probe. He stressed that social and cultural gaps should be bridged through various ministries.
Concerns raised by ROBIN HIBU, JCP, before MPs
Mr Robin Hibu made an extensive presentation on racial crimes in Delhi. What he brought to focus was ” In Delhi, South Delhi has maximum cases of racial discrimination and crimes against Northeast people compared to any part of Delhi.”
He remarked that most of victims in rape cases do not get justice because there is no strong system in place to protect victims. “Victims shy away from filing FIR. There is no engagement with rape victims. They go back to their native place and are unable to pursue the case and seek justice.”
What he brought into focus was the NE Helpline NUMBER 1093 be made pan India. He urged before MPs that NE Helpline NUMBER 1093 be not restricted to Delhi alone, but whole of India.
Another concern he raised was why North East is so neglected. He remarked, “I reach San Francisco in two days but to reach my native home in Arunachal from Delhi, it takes me seven days.” He questioned why North East is so neglected.
The interactive meet called for several initiatives to be taken seriously for holistic development of North East.