ATSUM calls economic blockade in Manipur

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Imphal, Jul 2 (UNI) The All Tribal Students' Union Manipur (ATSUM) has called an economic blockade on July 10 to protest the failure of the state government to increase reservation for SC/ST students, Joseph Hmar of the ATSUM said here today.

As a part of the agitation, economic blockade will be imposed on two National Highways of Manipur - NH 39 and 53 - and all government establishments in the hill districts, except schools and colleges, will be boycotted.

The boycott will also cover the Directorate of Education (Hills sections) and Directorate of Tribal Development in Imphal.

The government had assured to pursue for increase of SC/ST reservation quota in Manipur University and establish a separate university for tribal people in Manipur.

The government had also promised to extend the service of contract basis teachers.

The ATSUM said it was aware of the hardships and inconveniences the common people faced during the agitations.

''And as for the legal action proposed to be initiated against the ATSUM by the state government, we are ready to face that,'' Mr Hmar said.

''We are even ready to go on the offensive by filing a lawsuit against the government for not fulfilling its constitutional obligation of giving free education to the tribal people of Manipur,'' he said.

The state government had threatened to take action against organisations which called economic blockades and bandhs in Manipur.

UNI NS DPM SS1037

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