Joint Tribal Student Bodies, Manipur
Imphal, the 7th July 2018.
This is for general information to the general public and authorities concerned that following an agreement reached today with the Government of Manipur on our demands over MIL (tribal languages) teacher recruitment, the indefinite hill area bandh that started on 6 July has been relaxed temporarily but we will resume the agitation if our other demands are not met by Tuesday next week.
A memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Manipur and the Joint Tribal Student Bodies was inked today in the presence of Th Radheshyam, Hon’ble Minister (Education), Nemcha Kipgen, Hon’ble Minister (Social Welfare), Commissioner (Education/S), Director (Education/S) at the office chamber the Hon’ble Minster (Education), Manipur.
We strongly condemn the physical assault on the president of TSA Kangvai bock, Mr Thangminlun Haokip, at his home at Ukhagate, Churachandpur on the morning of 6 July by some youths who came in a gypsy and claimed to be activists of the Kuki Students’ Organisation. Seven bandh volunteers were also detained by the police in their custody overnight on 6 July 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. We also condemn the police for not taking any action against KSO volunteers who were involved in the physical assault of TSA leader. We wonder what connections the police have with KSO militants and leaders to allow them to threaten and attack bandh volunteers and TSA leader/s.
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? Is the state government instigating the students to agitate in Manipur University while detaining tribal students who are only demanding restoration of normalcy in the university and recruitment of tribal MIL teachers?
We are disgusted to learn that the chief minister, instead of trying to address the issue and our concerns, threatened certain MLA/s for not being able to stop us from agitating. We would like to make it clear that our demands have nothing to do with any particular person or minister or MLA but purely in the interest of students of Manipur who have long been denied of their right to education and learning in their languages. We have been appreciating the government’s slogans and programmes of “go to hills”, “people’s day” etc, but the way the government is dealing with our genuine problems is in sharp contradiction.
Also, it appears that the government is instigating some tribal student organisations to turn against some other tribal student organisations. Is this tribal-tribal divide an extension to the old hill-valley divide? Is this all about a deeper layer of divide and rule policy played by the government?
The chief minister, which claims his government to be a people’s government and which we used to believe to be so, should not feel afraid to talk to us at a negotiation table in a respectful and honourable manner.
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. 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.
We fully understand the inconvenience caused by the bandh, which we were forced upon by the government. At the same time we would like to express our gratitude to the public and CSOs for their support during the band.
We will resume the agitation if the following points of our demand are not met by 10 July:
- 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.
- 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.
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Liangmei Naga Katimai Ruangdi
Assam Manipur Nagaland