ATSUM suspends agitation partially

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Imphal, Aug 13 (UNI) The All Tribal Students Union, Manipur (ATSUM) has decided to suspend its agitational programme partially, following the assurance of the state Cabinet to review the grants-in-aid to schools, ATSUM Secretary Joseph Hmar said here today.

The state Cabinet had resolved to review the discontinuation of grants to 171 schools and also decided to extend the service of 1,198 contract based teachers engaged in the hilly districts.

Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh spoke to ATSUM officials and assured that he will lead a joint team of government officials and tribal students to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Delhi within the month of August.

The tribal students have been demanding increase of reservation in Manipur University (MU) from seven to 34 per cent as 34 per cent of the state's population comprises of tribals.

''Since MU is a central university, only the Centre can take a decision in this regard. Hence, the Chief Minister has assured that he will help the tribal students and discuss the matter with the Centre,'' the union stated.

The ATSUM has suspended a general strike called today and also called off their decision not to participate in the Independence Day celebrations on August I5.

However, since some of its other demands have not been fulfilled, the ATSUM will continue with its agitation of closing all schools for one week from August 18 and indefinite closure of all government schools from August 25.

It will also organise a protest rally in Delhi on August 30.

Besides, indefinite economic blockade will be launched in Manipur from August 16, till all the issues are resolved, the ATSUM secretary said.

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