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Manipuri group to stall trains

Guwahati, March 18: The United Manipuri Association, Assam, today said it would stage a 10-hour rail blockade at Hojai station from 7am on April 9 to press for its demands.

The association is demanding Scheduled Tribe status for the Manipuri community in Assam. It said it has raised the demand several times before. It has also approached the Registrar General of India and the Assam government in the past five years.

The group also demanded immediate election to the Manipuri Development Council which was formed in 2011. No election to elect the council's office bearers has been held since.

The association had moved the high court on the issue in 2013. The court had ruled in favour of the association but the state government is yet to conduct the election.

"Several works of the council have been affected because of the delay in organising the election. We have been demanding quick conduct of the poll for the past several years but there has been no response from the state government," said Jiten Singha, president of the association.

The association also demanded that teachers of Manipuri language should be appointed in the schools of Assam where the language is taught as a subject.

The group alleged that in anticipation of regularisation of services, several teachers had been working in non-Manipuri schools. But under the provision of the Assam Education (Provincialisation of Services of Teachers and Reorganisation of Educational Institutions) Bill, 2017, these teachers have been barred from working in non-Manipuri schools.

The association asked the state government to sort these issues immediately.

The group also condemned the Silapathar incident and sought immediate arrest of the culprits.


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