The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Student ‘ban’ shadow on Manipur exams

Imphal, March 11: Over 23,000 students will appear in the matriculation examinations beginning tomorrow under the shadow of a “disruption” threat by All Naga Students Union, Manipur.

The examinations will be held at 80 centres across nine districts of Manipur.

The students’ union, which has been campaigning for affiliation of Naga students to Nagaland Board of Secondary Education (NBSE), had vowed that it would not allow the Board of Secondary Education, Manipur, to hold matriculation examination in Naga-dominated Ukhrul, Senapati, Chandel and Tamenglong districts.

In view of the threat, Manipur chief secretary Jarnail Singh has directed all deputy commissioners and assistant deputy commissioners to book those who try to disrupt the examinations under the National Security Act. Singh also asked the superintendents of police to provide adequate security at all examination centres to prevent any possible disturbance.

The respective deputy commissioners promulgated prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC around the examination centres, preventing gathering of people in groups of more than five persons.

A source said three sections of combined force of the central paramilitary force and the state police would be deployed at each of the 10 examination centres in the four districts, where over 2,700 students would appear in the examination.

Chairperson of the Manipur board, W. Ibempishak Devi, has also issued a statement appealing to all NGOs and civil organisations not to indulge in any activity that would disrupt the examinations.

“Naga students and all private schools in the Naga-dominated areas had discarded the Manipur board syllabus since the 2006 academic session and opted for the Naga board,” the student union said in a statement issued yesterday.

The union also warned that officials of the education department and teachers would be held responsible if anything untoward happened for violating the ban.

The union, as part of Naga organisations’ campaign for integration of all Naga-inhabited areas under one administrative unit, has been campaigning demanding affiliation of all the private schools in the four districts to the Nagaland board.

In July last year, student activists also burnt textbooks prescribed by the Manipur board and facilitated migration of students to Nagaland schools.

Thousands of students also went to Nagaland to appear in the matriculation examinations held last month.

A senior official of the department said that most of the students, who appeared in the examinations in Nagaland, were also appearing in the examination in Manipur. “There is no decrease in the number of students appearing in the matriculation examinations. This shows that those appeared in Nagaland are also appearing in the examination here,” he said.

The official further said that several students from the four districts migrated to the valley after the Naga students’ campaign and they were appearing in the examinations at several valley schools.

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