Imphal, July 8,
Following an agreement reached today with the Government of Manipur on demands over MIL (tribal languages) teacher recruitment, the indefinite hill area bandh that started on July 6, 2018 has been relaxed temporarily but the agitation will resume if other demands are not met by Tuesday, the Joint Tribal Student Bodies, Manipur stated today to the Media.
A Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Manipur and the Joint Tribal Student Bodies was inked today in the presence of Th Radheshyam, Minister (Education), NemchaKipgen, Minister (Social Welfare), Commissioner (Education/S), Director (Education/S) at the office chamber of the Minister (Education), Manipur.
Condemning the physical assault on the president of TSA Kangvai block, Thangminlun Haokip at his home at Ukhagate, Churachandpur on the morning of July 6 by some youths who came in a Gypsy and claimed to be activists of the Kuki Students’ Organisation, the statement said seven bandh volunteers were also detained by the police in their custody overnight as a precautionary measure.
While the police action may have been a precautionary measure as claimed by them, we strongly condemn the police for not detaining KSO militants who were roaming about threatening bandh volunteers and even attempted to attack the bandh volunteers detained in police custody, the statement said condemning the police for not taking any action against KSO volunteers who were involved in the physical assault of the TSA leader suspecting the police of having links with KSO militants and leaders.
Why are some students detained when they have not committed any crime, but not some others although Manipur University has been paralysed for more than a month due to the agitation of some student organisations demanding the removal of the vice chancellor, the statement said charging the state government of instigating the students to agitate in Manipur University while on the other hand detaining tribal students who are only demanding restoration of normalcy in the university and recruitment of tribal MIL teachers.
Showing disappointment that the chief minister instead of trying to address the issue threatened certain MLAs stating that the demands have nothing to do with any particular person or minister or MLA but was in the interest of students of Manipur who have long been denied of their right to education and learning in their languages, the statement appreciated the government’s slogans and programmes of “Go to hills” and “People’s day”, but stated that the way the government is dealing with the genuine problems was in sharp contradiction.
The chief minister claims his government to be a people’s government, which we used to believe to be so, should not feel afraid to hold negotiations with the Joint Tribal Students BodiesSS, the statement said.
Over the issue of the on-going crisis in Manipur University, the Joint Tribal Student Bodies have submitted a memorandum today to the Union HRD minister urging his immediate intervention to solve the problems in Manipur University due to the agitation by Manipur University Students’ Union, that has reportedly refused an invitation from the chief minister for talks, the statement said wondering 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 while the careers of thousands of students have been affected but there seems to be no end to the imbroglio, the statement said expressing gratitude to the public and CSOs for their support during the bandh.
The demands to be met by July 10 are restoration of normalcy in the functioning of Manipur University, constituting a high level independent inquiry commission so as to solve the frequent serious problems in Manipur University in the last decade, and to file an FIR and arrest KSO volunteers and any police personnel involved in the intimidation and physical assault of TSA leader and bandh volunteers at Churachandpur.