Inter-state bus services in Manipur suspended following extortion demands

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Imphal, May 19 : Inter-state bus services in Manipur recently suspended in protest against extortion demands of militants.

"The various militant outfits have given us a lot of trouble. We have been bearing, but now we are unable to bear any longer. That is why we have taken the decision to close the bus services," said Bimol Singh, member, Interstate Bus Services.

The decision was taken by the All Manipur Inter-state Bus services Association.

The victims are not only bus operators, but also the common people of the state. William Thaimei, a stranded passenger said, "This suspension should not continue. The people of Manipur will suffer a lot. We will not be able to move about and we cannot proceed with our work." In protest against the exorbitant monetary demand by militant outfits, the staff members of the higher education department staged a sit-in protest in its office complex.

"We are facing pressure from unknown persons who claim that they belong to some organization. We cannot sit and work in peace to discharge our duties well," said Chaoba Singh, additional director, Education Department.

With slogans like, "Make Education Department a free zone", the employees of the department asked the various outfits to let peace prevail in the state.

This is the second time the education department is hit such demands by six different militant outfits. All citizens in Manipur are aware that outfits from valley and hills are pressurizing us. Sometimes, we feel like relinquishing our jobs rather than serving the state," said Dr. Kh. Menjor Singh, joint director, Education (U).

Both the valley based and hill-based militant outfits have been pressurizing the officials to meet their huge demands in terms of two per cent to ten per cent cut from their salary and a lump sum amount of five lakh to ten lakh rupees per annum.

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