The All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM) has said if the Manipur government does not do away with the service extension policy and set up a separate Scheduled Tribes Commission, it will go ahead with the third phase of its agitation from March 15.

Talking to reporters on Sunday, finance secretary of ATSUM Andria Annal pointed out that they submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh on February 22 in this regard. The ATSUM was against engaging persons who had retired from the health and the agriculture departments. Mr. Annal said though Mr. Singh assured ATSUM representatives on November 24, 2013 on setting up a Scheduled Tribes Commission, the government had not taken any initiative in this regard.

In the two phases of agitation, the ATSUM had imposed blockades along highways, which are the lifelines of Manipur. No consumer goods were brought to the State and fuel stations went dry. However, there was no dearth of ubiquitous roadside vendors who sold petrol at Rs. 200 a litre.