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Manipur: Indefinite hill area bandh ‘relaxed’ temporarily

Following an agreement reached with the Government of Manipur on the demands over MIL (tribal languages) teacher recruitment, the “indefinite hill area bandh” called by some tribal student bodies that started on July 6 has been “relaxed” temporarily since Saturday.

The bandh was imposed jointly by Thadou Student’s Association-General Headquarters (TSA-GHQ), Rongmei Naga Student’s Organisation (RNSO), and Liangmai Naga Katimai Ruangdi (LNKR).

However, the student bodies said they will resume the agitation if their “other demands” are not met by Tuesday next week.

The TSA, LNKR and RNSO said they will resume the agitation if the concerned authorities do not restore “normalcy in the functioning of Manipur University”. They also demanded constituting a high level independent inquiry commission “so as to solve the frequent serious problems in Manipur University in the last decade”. They also demanded the arrest of Kuki Student Organisation (KSO) volunteers and “any police personnel involved in the intimidation and physical assault of a TSA leader and bandh volunteers at Churachandpur”.

A press communique issued by Thadou Student Association (TSA), LNKR and RNSO said that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Government of Manipur and the “joint tribal student bodies” was inked on Saturday in the presence of Th Radheshyam, Minister (Education), Nemcha Kipgen, Minister (Social Welfare), Commissioner (Education/S), Director (Education/S) at the office chamber the Minster (Education), Manipur.

The three student organizations had imposed the bandh from July 6, alleging that the government had not implemented its promise of recruiting tribal language (MIL) lecturers at the higher secondary schools in the State.

Over the issue of the ongoing crisis in Manipur University, the TSA, LNKR and RNSO said they have submitted a memorandum today to the Union Human Resource Development (HRD) minister urging immediate intervention to solve the problems in Manipur University due to the agitation by Manipur University Students’ Union (MUSU). The three student bodies then alleged that the university has been paralysed for more than a month but the state government seems to have not done its best to end the impasse.

“We understand that the agitating MUSU have refused an invitation from the chief minister for talks, but we wonder why the chief minister has not taken any effective action. The chief minister talked about free-bandh Manipur, but a bandh to education and learning has been imposed in Manipur University for more than a month and the government seems to be just watching it like a cinema. The careers of thousands of students have been affected but there seems to be no end to the imbroglio,” the joint press note of TSA, LNKR and RNSO said.


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