3 Manipur Education Officers Apologize in CBSE Affiliation Case, Citing Pressure from MLAs and Kuki-Zo Groups.

Three Manipur education officers have issued apologies in the CBSE affiliation case, citing “pressure” from MLAs, civil society organizations, and student bodies. The officers claimed that they were compelled to sign the NOCs under duress. The letters revealed that four MLAs in Churachandpur district and two in Kangpokpi district had requested the officers to issue the NOCs to certain schools. These MLAs are part of a group of 10 Kuki-Zo MLAs advocating for a separate administration in Manipur. The change from a state to a central education board in the two hill districts was seen as an attempt to formalize this arrangement amid clashes between the Kuki-Zo and Meitei communities. Despite being aware of the procedural violations, the officers felt unable to resist external pressure due to the ongoing ethnic conflict, which had disrupted government services and communication protocols. One officer, Jangkhohao Haokip, stated that they were forced to issue NOCs to two schools, Salt Brook School and Soikholal High School. Lhingtinneng Singsit, another officer, mentioned being compelled to handle the NOCs at the district level. The third officer, L Taithul, explained that he was under pressure to issue the NOCs on behalf of the Churachandpur ZEO due to the crisis. The letters clearly indicate the immense pressure the officers faced during the violence, leading to the breach of departmental procedures. Kuki-Zo civil society organizations have been protesting the suspension of the officers and demanding their reinstatement. It is likely that the government will reinstate the officers in the interest of the affected students. The ethnic violence in Manipur has resulted in over 170 deaths and the displacement of thousands of people.

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