Staff kneecapped over corruption

INDIA.

EXTREMISTS are kneecapping teachers and officials whom they blame for corruption in schools and universities in the state of Manipur, north-eastern India.

The KYKL (Kangleiapak), an extremist organisation set up to combat education corruption, have warned that teachers who accept bribes from students will be "suitably punished".

In March, they rounded up three teachers and eight youths during the higher secondary exams and shot them in the leg.

In January, the KYKL kneecapped several professors of Manipur University who had been charged by students with accepting money for tampering with marksheets and admission procedures.

The KYKL also shot the state education director in the leg as a punishment for alleged corruption. This led agencies to investigate the misappropriation of millions of rupees intended to pay arrears to teachers.

So far, the state government has not reacted to the shootings, but has used the drive by the extremists to launch its own clean-up of the education system. It began by expelling 20 examinees in an attempt to crack down on exam malpractices.

Exams in Manipur are usually a farce. Most students resort to mass copying. Such is the reputation of their schools that those who pass are rarely given places at colleges in other parts of the country.

In the absence of any relevant laws, the police usually let off offenders with a warning.

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