Other States

Shutdown called by student body hits life in Manipur

Manipur CM N. Biren Singh. File   | Photo Credit: Ritu Raj Konwar

A 48-hour shutdown called by the All Manipur Muslim Students’ Organisation and some other groups from Thursday morning to demand 4% reservation for Muslims in education affected life in the State. There was a face-off between students and the police at several places.

Activists alleged that some officers used unprintable words while handling Muslim women activists and demanded action against them.

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh said the protest was not acceptable as the COVID-19 pandemic had left the people struggling. Some student leaders said that if the Chief Minister gave an assurance on the demands, they would consider calling off the strike.

On Wednesday night, Muslim women took out a torchlight procession at Sangai Yumpham in Thoubal. Volunteers blocked traffic on Thursday by burning old tyres and logs. A vehicle of a former Minister was damaged in stone-throwing. Some policemen tried to disperse those who blocked the main road at Hatta Minuthong near Imphal. But the protesters outnumbered the policemen, who took shelter in a house.

Leaders of six students’ organisations who have been observing a relay fast denied the Chief Minister’s statement on their campaign to demand a policy for tackling COVID-19. Mr. Biren Singh said earlier in the day that most of their demands had been met and the rest would be addressed after talks with Sapam Ranjan, his health adviser.

However, N. Edison, president of DESAM, a students’ organisation, said, “No such agreement has been reached. One of the 12 demands made by the students’ organisation is that there be a Health Minister. We feel that Mr. Biren Singh who holds several portfolios cannot pay full attention to the fight against COVID-19.”

But Mr. Biren Singh said, “I appointed Sapam Ranjan as health adviser to me. We are doing well as a team.”

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2020 5:22:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/shutdown-called-by-student-body-hits-life-in-manipur/article32975062.ece

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