Catholic educational institutions in India’s Manipur state closed on Tuesday, June 7, to protest a bomb explosion inside the premises of a Church-run school in the state capital Imphal.
The decision was made during an emergency meeting of the Catholic Educational Society Manipur and Church officials.
Father Stephen Touthang, CESM director, said the powerful bomb exploded on June 5 inside the Little Flower School, damaging portions of the school building and shattering window panes.
No one has claimed responsibility for the blast so far.
Staff and students of the school held a “sit-in” protest on Monday to call on the state government to ensure the safety of the students and make the school a “violence-free zone.”
“We condemn the bomb attack on our school,” “Allow us to grow without fear,” “Ensure our safety,” “Spare us, we just survived the pandemic,” read the placards carried by the students.
Sister Kaini Martha, headmistress of the school, said it was unfortunate that “such incident is happening in a school which is working for the growth and all-round development of students.”
The All Manipur Catholic Union condemned the incident, saying it threatens the school fraternity and arms the educational environment.
“Education institutions need a conducive environment for growth and development,” said the group. “If education institutions are not safe, the very foundation of society is under threat,” it added.