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regular-article-logo Thursday, 30 May 2024

Manipur U-turn on holiday: ‘Working day’ notice for Easter withdrawn in 24 hours

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, reacting to Wednesday’s order, said he was shocked by the 'worrying and surprising' decision of the Manipur government as it came 'in the aftermath of a devastating year in Manipur' however 'practical the justification may be that hurts the sentiments 40 per cent population of Manipur'

Umanand Jaiswal Guwahati Published 29.03.24, 06:20 AM
N Biren Singh

N Biren Singh File image

The BJP-led Manipur government has modified its order declaring March 31 as a working day in less than 24 hours following widespread criticism as the day coincided with Easter Sunday.

Revising Wednesday’s order declaring both March 30 (Saturday) and March 31 (Sunday) as working days, the state’s general administration department on Thursday reduced the “working day” to only Saturday for all government offices “for smooth functioning in the last few days” of the 2023-24 financial year.

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The revised three-para order also stated all government transactions relating to receipts and payments through the treasuries and banks “will continue” for the “remainder” of the financial year.

The one-para order on Wednesday had declared both Saturday and Sunday as working days for all offices under the Manipur government “for smooth functioning of offices in the last few days” of the 2023-24 financial year.

Though Thursday’s order did not specify the reason for the U-turn, there was widespread criticism of Wednesday’s order from within and outside strife-hit Manipur as Sunday coincided with Easter Sunday, a day commemorating Jesus Christ’s resurrection from death three days after his crucifixion.

It is celebrated by Christians worldwide as a day of joy and hope.

Manipur has a Christian population of over 40 per cent. Manipur’s hill districts are dominated by the Kuki-Zo and Naga people following Christianity.

The organisations which criticised Wednesday’s order and sought its withdrawal included the Tamenglong Baptist Church, the Chandel Naga Christian Forum,
Mao Baptist Churches Association, the Tangkhul Naga Baptist Convention, the Poumai Naga Tsiidoumai Me and the Senapati District Catholic Union.

The Tamenglong Baptist Church said the order went against the minority Christians while the Senapati District Catholic Union urged the state to respect diversity.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, reacting to Wednesday’s order, said he was shocked by the “worrying and surprising” decision of the Manipur government as it came “in the aftermath of a devastating year in Manipur” however “practical the justification may be that hurts the sentiments 40 per cent population of Manipur”.

“That is a matter of grave concern for all us... I do believe that the government of India should intervene and get the state government to withdraw this most unfortunate notification.”

A general administration department official said Wednesday’s order was issued to cope with the rush to deal with payments/receipts of the government before the financial year ended.

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