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Manipur schools, colleges shut for over a month
Published on 19 Oct. 2009 12:40 AM IST
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Parents of students in Manipur have formed an association to secure reopening of schools and colleges, which are shut for over a month, as a students’ group has been agitating for the chief minister’s resignation over an alleged extra judicial killing of a youth in July. Student organisations in Manipur also appeared to be on a collision course, as a section of them has demanded an end to the boycott and the resumption of classes. Classes were disrupted since September 9, particularly in the four valley districts, after the All Manipur Students’ Union, Manipuri Students’ Union and Kangleipak Students’ Association called for a class boycott as part of the Apunba Lup’s anti-Okram Ibobi Singh campaign. The Apunba Lup launched the agitation following the July 23 incident in which a pregnant passerby, Rabina Devi, and a former militant, Ch. Sanjit, were killed, allegedly in a fake encounter with the police. A Delhi-based portal published pictures showing police chasing Sanjit into a medicine store and emerging with his body a few minutes later. The Apunba Lup and Sanjit and Rabina joint action committees are demanding the resignation of chief minister Ibobi Singh. With no signs of restoration of normality, guardians and student organisations started questioning the continuation of the boycott. Angry over the shutdown, parents have formed the All Manipur Students’ Guardians Organisation (AMSGO) and have given an ultimatum to the government to ensure opening of educational institutes by Oct 21. “If the government fails to open educational institutes, the guardians would submit a memorandum to the governor Oct 22,” the group said. It has also appealed to the students’ group to resort to some other form of agitation. The association, however, faced the wrath and ire of Apunba Lup, the apex group of about 20-odd organizations spearheading the protest. “We want a public apology from the AMSGO as they went against the mass movement,” an Apunba Lup spokesperson said. Parents are now blaming both the AMSU and the government for jeopardising the future of thousands of students. Aruna Devi, mother of three school going children, said: “It is unfortunate that the government is not taking any step to break the deadlock. The future of the students is at great risk as this is the peak academic session and there have been no classes for weeks now. “In the first place, the AMSU should not have dragged the students to take part in an indefinite shutdown,” she said. After the All Manipur Student Guardians’ Organisation held a meeting on October 14 and came up with a demand to resume classes by Wednesday, two student bodies – the All Tribal Students’ Union, Manipur and Democratic Students Alliance Manipur —convened a public meeting on Wednesday on the matter, reported The Telegraph. The All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur and Democratic Students Alliance Manipur convened the meeting despite the Apunba Lup and the other organisations strongly condemning the guardians’ demand to resume classes. The move also evoked a sharp reaction from the Rabina and Sanjit joint action committees. Terming the decision to hold a meeting on Wednesday as very unfortunate, the two committees, in a joint statement, condemned the move as an attempt to sabotage the ongoing agitation. The statement also charged that someone instigated the move. The committees demanded that the plan to hold the meeting should be dropped.

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