Shutdown cripples life in most parts of Manipur

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

IMPHAL - Normal life was severely affected in five hill districts of Manipur for the third consecutive day Thursday as a result of a 72-hour shutdown called by concerned parents demanding recruitment of teachers in primary schools, official here said.

A senior government official told reporters that the shutdown was called from Tuesday under the aegis of the newly-formed Parents and Guardians Association (PGA) demanding recruitment of 3,456 primary teachers, for which the state’s tribal development department had taken interviews Oct 11, 2009.

“No untoward incident was reported from anywhere in the five hill districts in Manipur’s southern, northern and western regions,” the official said. Manipur has a total of nine districts.

Shops, markets and other business establishments have remained closed since Tuesday and vehicles were off the roads. The functioning of government offices was also badly affected.

“Despite repeated assurances of Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and Tribal Development Minister D.D. Thaisii, the results of the interview are yet to be announced even after six months,” PGA convenor Chungsat Khongsai said.

As the six autonomous district councils (ADC) were defunct in the five hill districts, the tribal development department had conducted interviews for the appointment of primary teachers under these councils.

The state election commission announced elections for the six ADCs and proposed that they be held in two phases — May 17 and 24.

Khongsai said: “If the tribal development department fails to declare the results of the interview before the polls, the elected ADCs after the elections might cancel the interview and take fresh tests for the recruitment of primary teachers.”

The PGA has threatened to impose an indefinite economic blockade along the Imphal-Dimapur and Imphal-Jiribam highways, the two vital supply lines for the northeastern state, from Saturday if the state government failed to respond positively before April 10.

Fresh academic sessions had started in the ADC-run schools in the hill regions in January and the students were suffering because of shortage of teachers. There are 926 schools under the six ADCs and the present teacher strength in the schools is around 3,000.

Filed under: Education

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