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Manipur

Three Manipur Tribal Student outfits Threaten Economic Blockade if Classes do not resume by Oct. 8

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The Manipur University issue has not resolved yet and taking into account the failure in the commencement of the normal classes in the university, three tribal students’ bodies have decided to go for a highway blockade decision.

As per the threatening of the three tribal bodies, on the non-fulfilment of their demands, a five-day economic blockade will be practised on all national highways connecting State capital Imphal. The student bodies are demanding the authorities concerned to let normal classes and other academic activities in Manipur University resume by October 8.

In addition to the demand for recommencement of the university classes and academic activities, these organisations have also demanded a separate Hill Central University. The reason behind the demand for a separate university by the tribal students is that, according to them, they need a disruption-free university in the non-tribal dominated Imphal Valley.

Before this on October 2, the All Tribal Students’ Union, Manipur; the Kuki Students’ Organisation-General Headquarters and the All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur served a seven-day ultimatum to the University authorities asking them to resume classes. It was only on Thursday, that the students’ bodies took the decision of going for a highway blockade.

Notably, there are two arterial highways in Manipur– one via Nagaland capital Kohima and the other via Jiribam on the Assam-Manipur border. The second highway is used for the supply of essential commodities and there is a third highway as well through Mizoram which is relatively less used.

The protesters in Manipur are generally seen taking up the step of blocking the national highways because these highways pass through areas dominated by the Nagas and the Kuki-Zomi tribes. Blocking these would mean blocking all sorts of connections and goods supplies to the state which compels the state government to fulfil the demands.

The three student bodies, after their meeting, said that they were “anguished by the premeditated holding of the career of students to ransom because of the agenda of a few individuals with vested interests in Manipur University”.

They added, “We want a Hill Central University so that all the colleges in the hill districts can be affiliated to it and be assured of ideal academic atmosphere.”

Adding more to this, the High Court of Manipur has said on Friday that if the authority concerned fails to resolve the ongoing crisis then the court will also be compelled to intervene. The court said, “We feel that the prolonged disruption and crisis in the university is not in public interest. Hence, failing to resolve the crisis by the authorities concerned, we may not have other alternative but to interfere in the affairs and management of the university which we would not have done otherwise and we also hope not to.”