Manipur Catholic schools shut down after threats
Imphal Feb 6 (IANS) All the Christian missionary schools in and around Imphal Manipur remained shut indefinitely for the second day on Tuesday following threats from insurgents.
Manipur s Education Minister T. Radheshyam appealed to the insurgent group Kangleipak Communist Party (Military Council) not to vitiate the academic atmosphere in the Catholic schools.
Radheshyam said "These educational institutes have been imparting formal education to over one lakh students in the state. There should not be any ban on these institutes in the larger interest of the students."
Though the Minister assured "adequate security" and urged the parents and school bus drivers to send the students to these institutes the parents said they are not convinced.
The Principals of some schools declined to disclose the demands of the insurgents but said the schools and colleges will be closed till the threats are withdrawn.
Police sources said there is no progress in the investigation since the militants responsible for the present impasse have not been accounted for.
Meanwhile several students organisations have appealed to the KCP(MC) to lift the ban on Ruda Academy a school in Manipur. They also said that there should not be any restrictions on All Manipur Students Union.
All the 72 Catholic schools 17 higher secondary schools and three colleges in the state remained closed from Monday without any prior notice. On Monday morning parents and drivers of school buses said that as usual they had brought the students to the schools but the gates were not open. A Principal of a school located in the heart of the Imphal had said "We have received threats from some unidentified persons to shut down. We had the Hobson s choice. The schools shall not be opened till the threats to the schools are withdrawn."
The threat is not an empty one as in the past there have been bloody incidents. Over eight persons including two principals in Imphal and Sugnu had been gunned down. The government has so far not beefed up security measures in these missionary schools.