Manipur: Cease-Work Strike Called Off Amid HSSLC Examinations

Northeast Desk, 21st February: A group of women vendors, who had previously announced plans to initiate a cease-work strike from February 21 in response to the arrest of six individuals, has decided to call off the proposed bandh. The decision to cancel the strike comes in consideration of the Higher Secondary School Leaving Certificate (HSSLC) examination, which commenced today.

Tension escalated at the Cheirap Court Complex in Imphal East as enraged protestors expressed their discontent over the arrest of the six individuals, claiming they were civilians. In an attempt to control the situation, the Rapid Action Force (RAF) resorted to firing tear gas shells inside the court complex, resulting in injuries to several protestors, including a video journalist.

The act of firing tear gas shells within the court premises drew condemnation from court officials and advocates, who questioned the authorization of such measures. Despite widespread demands for the release of the arrested individuals, they have been remanded in judicial custody until March 5, 2024.

Meanwhile, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh appealed to the public to maintain peace and refrain from causing any disturbances, particularly with the onset of the state board examinations. The Council of Higher Secondary Education Manipur (COHSEM) commenced the HSSLC Examination 2024 today, with 31,351 students set to participate across 111 examination centres.

This year’s examination faces a decline in student enrollment and the number of exam centres, attributed to the prevailing unrest in Manipur. In comparison, the HSSLC Examination 2023 saw the participation of 36,000 students across 120 centres. The participating students this year represent 236 higher secondary schools affiliated with COHSEM.

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