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Students Begin Locking Institutions

Student is seen here locking a school door. Image Credit: Sangai Photo.

IMPHAL, Feb 13: Students came out on Sunday in Imphal area and began locking Government schools as part of their agitation.

Among the schools locked up today were Churachand Higher Secondary School at Sajenthong and Tamphasa Girls Higher School.

According to the student leaders, more institutions will be locked up tonight.

Significantly, the students had warned yester- day that if the Government fails to respond to their needs by 1 pm of February 13, they would begin burning their schools to tinder.

Ever since teachers of Government schools in the State under the umbrella organization of Council of Teachers’ Association (COTA) have been staying away from discharging their duties, the students in protest against the Government’s indifference to the teachers’ demand for the implementation of central revised sixth pay commission, the students of State owned schools have been left high and dry and compounding the matter are the up [coming board and Council examinations

Even though it has been a month since normal classes were last held, their studies have regularly been stalled following confrontation between the teachers’ body and the Government.

And with X and XII exams knocking on their doors, it appears that they are unwilling to take things lying down.

Given the gravity of the situation with stakes as high as their life and career, students of government high and higher secondary schools have today converged together at an unlikely place, Raj Bhavan, to have their grievances heard.

The aggrieved students rendezvous at Jail Road—barely a stone’s throw away from 1st Manipur Riffles Battalion—and marched to the Raj Bhavan, storming the gate in a fit of rage. The marching students then battered their books on the gate of Raj Bhavan giving vent to their angst and the near possibility of forgoing the chance at competing with their compatriots elsewhere in the country and beyond.

“What use are schools if there is not going to be classes, schools should then be closed?” K Herojit, a coordinator of the demonstration asked in the sideline.

COTA has been on striking mode on and off with the demand to raise their pay commensurate with the central revised six pay commission recommendations. On getting no positive response from the government, the teachers’ body has recently launched fast-until-dead protest unmindful of the students’ quandary. While the debate about the rightness of their approach has been a roadside tell-tale topic, the teachers went ahead even as the defining exams in the live of every student are just around the curve.

If that was not unsavory enough, the police cracked down on the protesting teachers and kept them behind bars. News has been coming from inside the jail that the arrested teachers have been harassed and force fed by the police. Till date, 142 teachers have been reportedly arrested by the police.

On Saturday, after having sent out their message loud and clear in front of the Governor’s official residence, the students marched on towards the chief minister bungalow some 100 meters away from Raj Bhavan to submit a memorandum to the chief minister.

Halfway through, in front of Nupi Lal Memorial Complex, the demonstrating students were prevented to proceed further on by the police. Ironically, the memorial complex is a living testimony of peoples’ power, women’s power to be precise, against authoritative grandstanding of the government who heedlessly perpetuated unfairness.

The students stepped up their protested by hurling their books at the security personnel who were blocking their way to the chief minister bungalow. After several rounds of hard bargaining, the visibly mellowed students—allayed by Additional Superintendent of Police (Law and Order) Herojit—were reassured that their grievances lettered in the memorandum will be handed over to the chief minister with the due urgency that it deserves. The chief minister was apparently not in his bungalow at that point of time on Saturday.

*Source: Newmai News Network.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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