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Manipur students 'ban' outsiders in tit-for-tat reaction

Thursday, 13 February 2014 - 6:00am IST | Place: GUWAHATI | Agency: DNA

Student organisations in Manipur on Wednesday jointly enforced a 'curfew' against non-Manipuris living in the state to protest the growing number of 'racial attacks' on people from the northeast in the national capital.

Infuriated over the alleged racial attacks, the Joint Students' Coordination Committee (JSCC), a conglomerate of six student bodies, enforced the one day curfew from 5 am onwards. The curfew comes days after the murder of Arunachal Pradesh student Nido Taniam on January 30, the rape of a minor Manipuri girl over the weekend and the assault of two Manipuri men by motorcyle-borne assailants on Monday in Delhi.

"The JSCC enforced the curfew in protest against racial attacks and discrimination against people from the northeast in mainland India, especially in the metros," All Manipur Students' Union (AMSU) general secretary Laishram Reagan told dna. AMSU is one of the six JSCC bodies. "If we look different from others, it is because of geographical factors. But that doesn't make us foreigners. We are frank and not conservative. So, why are we always booed and mocked?"

The curfew imposed restrictions on all outdoor activities, including movement of non-Manipuris in the state. Shops and business establishments, run by non-Manipuris, remained closed for the day while few non-Manipuri students attended their classes in schools and colleges in the capital, Imphal; nearly 5 lakh non-Manipuris stay in Imphal. No untoward incident was reported.

The JSCC demanded that the Centre enact a law to fight racial discrimination. "We will intensify our agitation if the government fails to accede to our demand," said Reagan.

The other five student bodies behind the curfew included Manipuri Students' Federation, Democratic Students' Alliance of Manipur, Students Union of Kangleipak, Kangleipak Students' Association and AIMS.


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