Tough stand of Govt noted Keeping petrol pumps open

When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. This is the message that Chief Minister N Biren seems to be conveying to the people in the face of the 48 hours bandh imposed by a good number of student organisations, AMSU, DESAM, MSF, SUK, KSA and AIMS. That the Chief Minister meant business may be discerned when he went live on AIR and addressed the people on the MU crisis as well as the 48 hours bandh lined up by the said student organisations. The State Government went one or two steps ahead in arresting a good number of student leaders just ahead of the two days bandh and letting the law take its own course. Perhaps this is the first time that petrol pumps across Imphal were opened during bandh days and almost all the petrol pumps in Imphal were opened during the 48 hours bandh. It was the same in Government offices and if reports coming in from some Government employees are anything to go by then all employees had to register not only in the bio-metric attendance but had to again sign on the attendance register after some time. Photos of the employees while in office were also reportedly taken and the same uploaded on the Whatsapp groups of the respective departments concerned. That the appeal or rather directive of the Government failed to cut ice with the shopkeepers in the major commercial centres of Imphal is a different matter. It is also a different matter that inter-district bus and auto services remained suspended during the two days bandh. What however is significant to note is the point that there was not much apprehension in the minds of the people when they did step out from their homes during the bandh period in Imphal.
The two days bandh definitely had an impact on the lives of the people. There is no doubt about this, but life did not come to a screeching halt as was the case when similar bandhs were imposed earlier. This is the difference that one could see during the 48 hours bandh. It is also significant to note that the MU crisis and the resultant bandh did not spill over into late night protests when obstacles were placed in the middle of the road and bonfires adorned major roads of Imphal. There were no clanging of the electric posts in the night and no whistle calls to draw out the others and engage the police in a stand off with catapults taking over and stones raining all over the place. There could be many reasons for this, but significant to note the tight security taken up by the Government with cops, including VDF personnel lined up along all the major roads to thwart any untoward incident. This is not to say that the chapter on the MU crisis has been closed with the coming to an end of the 48 hours bandh, but so far the Government has conveyed the message that it is in charge and will not brook any attempt to hijack Government administration. Impact of the bandh neutralised to a good extent, but this cannot be the end for remember a good number of MU students had earlier announced their decision to boycott the upcoming examinations. Will this have a spill over effect and impact on the school going students ? This is a valid question and this is where the Government need to act and chart out a roadmap to steer clear of any further damage to the academic pursuit of the young students.

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