Manipur Violence: Govt orders closure of schools; students condemn use of excessive force; internet ban re-imposed

Imphal: The Directorate of Education (S), Government of Manipur, has taken precautionary measures to prevent untoward incidents following the circulation of photos suspected to be bodies of two missing students, Phijam Hemanjit (20) and Hijam Linthoinganbi (17) who went missing since July 6.

The directorate has ordered the closure of all State Government, State Government Aided, and Private Unaided schools on September 27 and September 29. Director of Education (S) L. Nandakumar Singh notified the same in an order dated September 26.

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schools shut in Manipur

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In response to the distressing photos of the two missing Meitei students, a large number of students took to the streets on Tuesday afternoon demanding justice for them. The agitating students marched toward Raj Bhavan and Chief Minister’s Bungalow but were intercepted by Manipur Police teams and Rapid Action Force personnel equipped with riot shields.

The tense situation escalated into a confrontation between students and security forces. The security personnel resorted to use of tear gas shells, rubber bullets, and smoke bombs, reportedly, to disperse the agitating students, resulting in injuries to around 60 students and one teacher. The injured persons were rushed to various hospitals for medical attention. At least 43 students were rushed to Raj-Medicity hospital, 2 were rushed to Asian hospital, 9 to RIMS and one to JNIMS hospital.

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Meanwhile, six student bodies including AIMS, DESAM, KSA, MSF and SUK has condemned the highhandedness of security forces upon the distraught students who were agitating in demand for justice for the two students.

Briefing media at MSF office in Kwakeithel Thounaojam Leikai, coordinator of the six student bodies, L. Lamyanba condemned the manhandling of the young and innocent students and demanded that force should be used against Kuki militants and not against young and innocent students.

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Meanwhile, the Manipur government has yet again snapped internet in the entire jurisdiction of Manipur state owing to the fresh agitation in Imphal Valley, with immediate effect today. A government stated that Mobile internet data services, internet/data services through VPN is suspended in for 5 days with immediate effect till 7:45 PM of October 1, 2023.

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