Tribal student's Manipur bandh evokes little response

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Imphal, Oct 7 (UNI) A general strike called by two tribal student bodies of Manipur partially affected normal life here for the second day today.

The 36-hour bandh started yesterday from 0600 hours to protest the recruitment of guest lecturers in history department of Manipur University (MU).

The general strike had been called by the All Tribal Students' Union of Manipur (ATSUM) and Manipur University Tribal Students' Union (MUTSU) from October 6 to 7. Due to the stir, all inter- state passenger bus services were cancelled.

Police said, ''As a precautionary measure, so far, more than 100 tribal students of MU were detained to check occurrence of any untoward incident.'' Meanwhile, the Khwairamband Keithel, the main market witnessed a flurry of activity with a large number of people shopping for the Durga Puja festival. The Celebrations too went ahead unabated.

The two organisations in a joint statement said the stir was called to protest the failure of the MU authority to fulfil the demands of the tribal students.

The tribal students are demanding 34 per cent reservation for tribals as the tribal population in the state stood at 34 per cent.

The MU, a central university, provides seven per cent reservation.

MU official said the reservation policy was decided by the Centre and is applicable in all the central universities.

A decision can only be taken by the Union government.

The Chief Minister, O Ibobi Singh, had led a delegation to New Delhi to apprise the central leadership about the issue.

The two organisations said the MU Vice-Chancellor had agreed to stop all appointments in the university unless the matter was resolved. However, the university authority went ahead with the normal recruitment process, they alleged.

UNI NS SB AKJ HT2340

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