Punjab schools closed in support of Dalit and Christian strike on August 9. The protest highlights ethnic violence and mistreatment issues stemming from Manipur incidents. Read about the statewide solidarity movement.

School closed in Punjab amid Dalit and Christian community' Bandh'
School closed in Punjab amid Dalit and Christian community’ Bandh’

Supporting a Rally for Justice and Equality

In response to a call for a strike from the Dalit and Christian communities in Punjab, the state administration has decided to close all schools on August 9, 2023. This move is a show of solidarity with a significant protest rally against ethnic violence and the mistreatment of women in Manipur.

Statewide Shutdown Organized by Dalit and Christian Groups

Collaborating together, the Dalit and Christian groups have planned a statewide shutdown on August 9 to draw attention to pressing issues. The Christian Brotherhood conducted a media briefing at the Jalandhar Press Club and launched the Manipur Insaf Morcha to announce the upcoming strike in Punjab.

Details of the Strike

Surjit Thapar, President of Manipur Insaaf Morcha, outlined the plan for the strike. The state’s activities will be halted from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on August 9.

Schools Closed for Safety

Considering the possibility of disruptions and prioritizing the safety of children, the state authorities have chosen to keep schools closed on this day. This step aims to prevent any unwanted incidents and ensure the safety of students.

Protest Originating from Disturbing Incident

The protest is a response to a disturbing incident captured in a video on May 4. The video showed a distressing event where a group of men publicly humiliated two women from different communities in Manipur by forcing them to parade naked. This deeply unsettling act triggered nationwide outrage.

Bandh Movement Reflects Broader Unrest

The bandh movement is a reaction to ongoing ethnic turmoil that erupted in Manipur on May 3. The unrest followed a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ organized by hill districts to counter the Meitei community’s request for Scheduled Tribe (ST) classification. With over 160 deaths and numerous injuries, the bandh movement calls for justice and increased awareness.

Government’s Security Response

The Central government has dispatched 800 additional security personnel to Manipur due to severe ethnic clashes that have persisted for nearly 100 days. Manipur is gripped by unrest, and there are ongoing challenges, including an “indefinite social boycott” by Meitei’s outfit and the Kuki People’s Alliance against the Chief Minister.

Security Measures and Recovery Efforts

Currently, around 125 companies of various paramilitary forces are deployed in Manipur, along with approximately 164 columns of the Indian Army and Assam Rifles. Security forces have been actively recovering looted arms and ammunition, countering misleading reports of such incidents.

Continuous Efforts for Stability

Manipur police have clarified that they are consistently conducting raids in both hill and valley areas to recover looted arms and ammunition. They have successfully recovered arms and ammunition from various districts, ensuring efforts to maintain peace and stability.

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