Normalcy was thrown out of gear in Manipur Friday after a 19-hour-long general strike was imposed to protest the controversial death of a 13-year-old schoolgirl in Thangmeiband on July 18.
Babysana of Thangmeiband Imphal West, a hosteller of Standard Robert School Chanchipur Imphal, was found hanging inside the hostel. Her death sparked controversy with family suspecting foul play in the girl’s death although post mortem conducted twice, suggests that the cause of death as asphyxia by hanging.
A series of agitations have been launched by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) — a social organisation that is working to persuade the government to investigate the girl’s death — with the support of the civic bodies demanding justice.
Six people including the principal of the school have been arrested in connection with the case.
Friday’s strike which came into effect from 5 am was also a part of the JAC’s continued protest. The shutdown will conclude at midnight.
In response to the call, protestors came out on the streets and enforced a road blockade resulting in inconvenience to the commuters. All public transportations including inter-district and inter-state passengers services stayed off the road.
While government offices remained open, employee turnout was reportedly low and all educational institutes remained closed during the strike.
Despite the government’s assurance to hand over the case to the CBI and formation of Special Investigation Team (SIT), protest continue unabated. In the wake of the girl’s death, many civil society organisations including child rights groups drew the attention of the government to enforce strict regulation for hostels and educational institutions for children in the state, particularly in private schools.
Acknowledging that rules and regulation are inadequately formulated the state government on Friday issued a notification to adopt the guidelines formulated by the National Commission for protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).