Students protest against `final bell` ahead of time, 8 injured in police action

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Eight injured as police fire tear gas, mock bombs to quell mob

IMPHAL, February 28: Eight students were injured today when police resorted to firing tear gas shells and mock bombs at a mob of students and their guardians at Pujari High School, Khangabok in Thoubal district.

The school is a private centre of the ongoing High School Leaving Certificate Examination conducted by the Board of Secondary School Education, Manipur.

8 Students as police resorted to firing tear gas shells and mock bombs at a mob of students and their guardians at Pujari High School, Khangabok
8 Students as police resorted to firing tear gas shells and mock bombs at a mob of students and their guardians at Pujari High School, Khangabok
Photo: IFP

Students along with their guardians had created a ruckus and pelted stones at the centre at the end of the exam, complaining that the final bell was sounded earlier than it was at the opposite exam centre.

In their bid to control the mob, the police fired tear gas shells and mock bombs injuring atleast eight students and two police personnel, while many other students fainted.

It is learnt that the Khangabok Centre was divided into Centre A and B. While Khangabok High School fixed as Centre A, another school lying opposite to it -Pujari School – fixed as Centre B.

Today’s exam paper was Science. The normal timing for the exam is from 9am to 12 noon.

According to reports from the incident site, a long time difference in the sounding of alarms between the two schools had led to the uproar. There was a difference of around 10 minutes between the two schools, the reports said.

When students from Pujari Centre came out after the last bell was sounded, they found students still writing their exam at Khangabok High School, which enraged both the students and their guardians.

Students and their guardians alike pelted stones at the centre. Soon after a police team including Thoubal Cdos arrived at the scene and tried to quell the ruckus.

The security team fired tear gas shells, smoke bombs and blank fired.

Eight students were injured in the ensuing melee while many others fainted at the sound of the bullets.

Meanwhile, two police personnel including a woman personnel were also injured.

The situation was brought under control at around 1pm.

Meanwhile, a board flying squad which was present at the exam centre at the time of the incident clarified that the melee was a result of misunderstanding.

An official of the squad acknowledged that there was a time difference between the final bells at the two centres which led to the uproar.

On the other hand, zonal education officer, Thoubal Kh Amuba said that the difference was only because the two schools use different clocks to keep their timing.

Students at both centres were given their allotted times to write their exams, he said.

There is no question of students of a centre being allotted less time, he said.

He further appealed to the public not to interpret the incident in the wrong light.

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