CCTV cameras for Class 12 exams trigger row in Manipur

Imphal, Feb 22 (IANS) Manipur authorities’ use of CCTV cameras and resort to orders against “unlawful assembly” in conduct of the Class 12 exams only at some test centres and districts of the state have provoked charges of discrimiantion and bad faith.

Closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras were installed in 18 of the 68 examination centres in the state for the Class 12 exam on Monday — an unprecedented measure in the entire north-eastern region — as a check on cheating and use of unfair mjeans.

Those 18 centres are located in the valley districts of Manipur. Fifty other exam centres, mostly in hill districts, have been exempted from the measure.

“It is a well known fact that some centres which are not covered by the CCTV cameras are notorious for giving carte blanche to the examinees to cheat,” one of the angry students told IANS.

Some students actually manipulate their way into exam centres that are also well known to “guarantee success”. Impersonation is also rife in such centres, sources said.

Why take special measure against examinees in only 18 centres, wonder the students.

Adding to their resentment is the order under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code banning any “unlawful assembly” of five or more people in only three districts: Thoubal, Imphal East and Bishnupur.

The five other districts of the state have been left out from the purview of such prohibitory orders.

“Why on earth?” students ask.

State Education Minister Moirangthem Okendra and officials of the Council of Higher Secondary Education Manipur, which is conducting the exam, are not explaining why only 18 centres were marked out for CCTV coverage and prohibitory orders were clamped in only three districts of the state.

Officials told IANS that there are 27,238 examinees this year.

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