TODAY -
Private school torched, students decry
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 17 2009: In yet another attack on educational institutions, unidentified miscreants set on fire the building of a private school at Sapam in Thoubal district last night.

In protest against the incident, students and teachers of private schools located in between Thoubal and Khongjom today formed a human chain along the side of National Highway 39 .

Police report said unidentified miscreants set fire to the double storeyed wooden building of Khongjom Standard English School located at Sapam Sabal Leikai under Kakching Police Station at around 9.45 pm yesterday.



The charred remains of the school and students forming a human chain to denounce the act of arson


The school has classes from nursery to VIII and it is a branch of the main school at Khongjom Sivanagar.

In all six classrooms and all other assets kept inside have been destroyed in the inferno.

The assets which have been consumed in the fire include three computer sets, one TV set, one inverter set, 75 pairs of desks and benches, three wooden almirahs, three tables, 10 chairs, five blackboards and science equipments.

The school authority has estimated the monetary value of the loss in the fire at around Rs 10 lakhs.

Timely intervention and co-operation of the local people, police officers and fire brigade personnel managed to stop the fire from spreading to the nearby buildings.

A senior police officer of Thoubal informed that after detection of the fire, a search operation had been launched in and around the area.

But there is no report of any arrest made.

Apart from stepping up patrolling by police commandos, frisking and checking operations have also been intensified in different parts of the district .

Kakching police have registered a case in connection with last night's act of arson.

The school authority has disclosed that following pressure from the guardians to resume classes as other schools had re-opened, the school was reopened a couple of days back with students allowed to come and attend classes in civvies.

The school authority suspected that the act of setting afire the school building may be related to the ongoing class boycott agitation.

Three student bodies, namely AMSU, MSF and KSA have been boycotting classes in all the educational schools over the July 23 Khwairamband Bazar incident of killing two persons and injuring fore others in police firing.

Meanwhile, in protest against setting fire on the school building of Khongjom Standard English School and to show solidarity, students and teachers of private schools located in between Thoubal and Khongjom today formed human chain along the side of Imphal-Moreh Road (National Highway 39) .

Thousands of students from schools in Khongjom, Khangabok and Thoubal area participated in the protest demonstration holding placards inscribed with slogans like 'Act of arson on school building is condemnable', 'Allow us to have normal education', etc.

All Manipur Recognised Private Schools' Welfare Association has strongly condemned the incident of setting on fire the building of Khongjom Standard English School.

The Association has also appealed to the people and the Government for paying serious attention towards ensuring such unfortunate incidents are not repeated.

On the other hand, unidentified miscreants also reportedly tried to set on fire the building of YK College at Wangjing last night.

However, as the teachers and chowkidar of the college were staying overnight the attempt was foiled.


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