Overcoming all the challenges arising out of the ethnic violence in Manipur, more than 3,300 candidates on Sunday appeared for the UPSC preliminary examinations at 12 designated centres here, an official said.
No untoward incident has been reported in the state capital since this morning, police said.
“Altogether, 4,051 candidates had registered for UPSC preliminary tests at 12 sub-centres in Imphal. However, due to the ongoing violence, 700 had opted to appear for the exam at centres outside the state" an official of the Manipur Public Service Commission said.
In view of the Manipur violence that began on May 3, the Union Public Service Commission had given options to civil service aspirants from the state to appear for the preliminary tests at centres in Aizwal, Kohima, Shillong, Kolkata and Delhi, he said.
Documents such as admit card would serve as curfew pass on exam day, the official said.
Security has been tightened across the state, following the ethnic clashes between the majority Meitei community and the Kukis, a police officer said.
G Leivon, a tribal candidate appearing for the exam from Bishnupur district, said, "I didn't face any problem coming to Imphal to appear for the exam. In the greater Imphal area, the situation is normal. We hope that there would be no problem during and after the tests.” Another candidate Th Nikita felt that her preparation for the UPSC prelims, one of the most important stages for aspiring civil servants in the country, was affected to some extent due to the suspension of the internet.
“Our preparations were affected to some extent in the last 25 days due to the suspension of the internet as our tutors and instructors could not share study notes with us. However, we have come here to appear for the exam without any disturbance.” During this month, ethnic violence between Meiteis and Kukis in Manipur claimed the lives of over 70 people, and 10,000 security forces were deployed even as a curfew was imposed and internet services were suspended.
Clashes broke out in Manipur after a 'Tribal Solidarity March' was organised in the hill districts on May 3 to protest against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
The violence in the northeastern state was preceded by tension over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserve forest land, which had led to a series of smaller agitations.
Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur's population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals -- Nagas and Kukis -- constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts.