Manipur, May 3 : Employees of the Higher Education Directorate here staged a sit-in protest on Saturday against the extortion demands made by militant outfits.
The education department staff staged a silent protest in the office complex paralyzing the functioning of the office and said it would remain shut for a week from May 4.
The officials also said that if the problem persists, they might be forced to shutdown other important institutions in the state.
"There are several many frontal organizations in Manipur. They might come up and they may raise their voice. Other institutions might close down accordingly in due course of time," said R.K. Chaoba Singh, Additional Director, Education.
Militant outfits like the Revolutionary Peoples Party (RPF), Kanglei Yawonanna Lup (KYKL) and United National Liberation Front (UNLF) that are active in the region keep pressurising the officials to meet their exorbitant demands ranging from two per cent to ten per cent from the Letters of Credit (LOC), besides extracting a lump sum amount of Rs 5 lakhs to 10 lakhs per annum.
However, this time at least six militant outfits two of them hill based groups and four based in the valley have been demanding money from the officials.
The staff holding placards reading slogans like " Make Higher Education Department a Free Zone" demanded an end to the harassment by the militant outfits.
Directorate of Education (University and Higher Education) looks after the development works relating to infrastructure, providing lab equipment, construction of institutional buildings and scholarships and salaries.
The rebels have been asking for 'extortion money', which they term as imposing "taxes" on people, government employees and businessmen since the 1960s, collecting millions of rupees to sustain their insurgency.
But their tactics have become attained alarming proportions in recent months as they target people with bombings and murders.