On July 7, 2018, large number of college students thronged to the Chief Minister Office demanding immediate intervention to the 39 days old impasse at Manipur University. The students turned up as the strike at Manipur University has severely affected the academic activities of the colleges affiliated to the Manipur University. When those students were prevented from meeting the chief Minister some among them went hostile and even pushed the gate of the Chief Minister’s office.
The following day the Chief Minister office was cordoned with barricade from the northern end till the Police head quarter. It was the duty of the law enforcers to cordon the Chief Minister’s Office at that time as the momentum of the agitation was on the rise. The matter has been somehow settled with the intervention of the Manipur High Court by appointing an administrator on interim basis. The issues of the Manipur University is yet to be completed but academic activism has been restored as the Manipur University community who have been on strike for over 135 days welcome the court decision.
Potential threat of thronging to the Chief Minister Bungalow by student is almost clear now and after all students of the state may be hostile while demanding justice, but they are not some kind of terrorists or criminal. The student agitators might push the gate on July 7, 2018, but one thing that is needed to understand is that those students were only demanding to have an appointment with the Chief Minister on that day. But it was the police action which turned the students wild. On the other hand the students came only with books and pen and photo evidence showed that no students carry any sort of deadly weapons.
The incident was the first of its kind that people of the state started understanding that Chief Minister N. Biren Singh was not at all a peoples’ Chief Minister. Before the incident, people have heard his promise to meet any person in needs and called on people to come to his office anytime.
Now the announcement he made in many public platform after becoming chief minister turn out to be a mere lip service to fool the people. The peoples’ meet and Hill leaders’ meet that he organised every month is more like a show to prove his friendly attitude when in reality his bungalow is now cordoned with barricades troubling people who had to pass the road.
At time of agitation, may be the police need to cordon with barricades, but when everything is normal now what is the purpose of cordoning the barricade in front of the Bungalow. After all police team are present in front of the office 24×7 every day.
The way the office is being cordoned not only created inconveniences to the pedestrians but also showed that the Chief Minister now have apprehension and have lost trust to his people. The way things goes now had surprised on why the Chief Minister who refuse to deliver public speech in bullet proof glass podium at Ukhrul is so much afraid of strikers.
It is time that the police in front the office should be trained well and that the barricade be removed to once more prove that N. Biren Singh is the peoples’ Chief Minister.
Justification for cordoning the area can be done but public will not accept.