Signed NOCs under duress, says suspended ZEOs

The Manipur government had suspended three officials under the ZEO in connection with unauthorised issuance of NOCs for affiliation of schools to CBSE on January 12, after the CBSE cancelled the affiliation of 25 schools in Churachandpur and Kangpokpi districts on December 20, 2023.

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 7 Feb 2024, 4:30 am

Representational Image (Photo: Pixabay)
Representational Image (Photo: Pixabay)

Three education officers under the Zonal Education Office (ZEO) who were suspended for allegedly involving in obtaining CBSE affiliation of schools in Churachandpur and Kangpokpi districts, amid the prevailing mayhem in Manipur, have apologised to the government in writing for issuing the no-objection certificates (NOCs), citing ‘duress’ and ‘pressure’ from ‘elected representatives, CSOs, and student bodies.

According to sources, the three officers in the apology letters to the Manipur government said they were allegedly ‘compelled’ to sign the NOCs under ‘duress’ and ‘pressure’ from MLAs, CSOs and student bodies to issue the NOCs.

The state government had suspended the three officials under the ZEO in connection with unauthorised issuance of NOCs for affiliation of schools to CBSE on January 12, after the CBSE cancelled the affiliation of 25 schools in Churachandpur and Kangpokpi districts on December 20, 2023 on the ground that the NOC submitted by the schools has not been issued by the authorised functionaries of the state government and its request for cancellation of affiliation dated December 16, 2023.

As per CBSE bylaws, State board schools are legally required to obtain NOCs from the state government before applying for central board affiliation.

The suspended officers are Zonal Education Officer (ZEO) of Churachandpur, Jangkhohao Haokip; ZEO of Kangpokpi, Lhingtinneng and District Inspector (DI) of Schools, L Taithul.
Sources said that four MLAs in Churachandpur district, and two in Kangpokpi district had written to the education officers requesting them to issue the NOCs. The six MLAs are among the 10 Kuki-Zo MLAs spearheading the demand for separate administration in the state.

The trio, in their letters to the government confessed they were aware they would be violating procedures, but were not able to push back against outside pressure due to the ethnic conflict, which had disrupted government services including education, and departmental communications protocol.


Jangkhohao Haokip, in his letter said ‘At first I deny them, hiding at home stating that I am not the competent authority to issue NOC for affiliation to CBSE. But after being appointed as in-charge ZEO for Churachandpur. I have to attend office and carry out all office responsibilities.’

He also said of receiving pressure from different angles including parents, joint student bodies, CSOs, and even elected representatives and asserted that he was not able to deny any longer. ‘It’s a do or die situation after receiving duress’, he added.

‘I am compelled and forced to issue my signature to two schools that are Salt Brook School and Soikholal High School. Therefore, it is my earnest prayer and request to understand my situation and seek apology and consideration from your end phase. I will ensure that no such issue will happen again in future,’ he stated.

It is said that the Churachandpur ZEO also enclosed letters allegedly written by four Kuki-Zo MLAs namely Letzamang Haokip, Paolienlal Haokip, Chinlunthang, and LM Khaute, asking him to issue NOCs to schools from their constituencies that have approached him.

The four MLAs wrote the letters on the same day - July 11, 2023, sources mentioned.

While Kangpokpi ZEO Lhingtinneng Singsit, in her letter to the government dated December 29, 2023, briefed the reason why she issued the NOC, stating that the Kuki-Zo group Committee on Tribal Unity, Kuki Students’ Organisation (SH), parents, and the ‘local minister’ allegedly directed her to clear the CBSE affiliation paperwork at the district level.
She said she advised them to approach the competent authority, instead they insisted on her citing that the DEO/ZEO can also do the same at the district level. ‘I am being compelled to proceed on at the district level. However, I further advised them to obtain the same through proper channels from the competent authority,’ she maintained.

She further enclosed letters by two Kuki-Zo MLAs namely Nemcha Kipgen and Kimneo Hangshing, who wrote to her on July 7 and May 30, 2023 respectively allegedly requesting her to issue the NOCs.

Also, DI of schools, L Taithul, in his letter also dated December 29, 2023, said he too was ‘under pressure’ from MLAs, CSOs, and student groups to issue NOCs on behalf of the Churachandpur ZEO, who could not work due to the crisis.


“... We, his (Churachandpur ZEO’s) subordinate staff carried out our duties to the fullest. That, I was requested to issue the NOC for CBSE affiliation for some schools, which I denied as I had no authority. But I was under pressure from the elected representatives, CSOs, student bodies... Unable to stand against the pressure, I issued the NOC on behalf of the ZEO, which I greatly regret,’, he said.

He also requested to forgive him for this act and promised to work carefully in the future and would not repeat such actions. He asserted that four Kuki-Zo MLAs namely Letzamang Haokip, Paolienlal Haokip, Chinlunthang, and LM Khaute allegedly requested him to issue the NOC, adding that Paoalienlal Haokip wrote to him on May 15, Chinlunthang on May 16, Letzamang Haokip on May 18, and LM Khaute on May 28, 2023.

Meanwhile, Government sources on Monday stated that the letters by the three education officers clearly show they were under immense pressure amid the violence, and so ended up breaching serious departmental procedures, as giving NOCs is not a small task.
Mention may be made that various Kuki-Zo bodies, student organisations and the public have raised strong condemnations against the suspension of the three officers, carrying out protests and even locking government offices, serving ultimatum to the state government to withdraw their suspension order and even threatened to launch an intensive stir if the suspension is not revoked.

Thousands of students in Churachandpur and Kangpokpi districts on Jan 18 even took to the streets in protest against the de-affiliation of 25 schools from the districts to the CBSE and the suspension of officials of ZEO officers. They also submitted a memorandum to PM Modi through their respective DCs.

The ten Kuki-Zo MLAs had also written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, requesting him to issue directions to the State government to reinstate the three officers in services and to restore the CBSE affiliation of the 25 schools at the earliest.

The 25 schools are ST Peter’s School (affiliation no. 1230153), Soikholal Ideal High School (affiliation no. 1230154), Excel Foundation Academy (affiliation no. 1230155), Ebenezer Academy (affiliation no. 1230156), TL Shalom Academy (affiliation no. 1230157), Convention English High School Sinzawl (affiliation no. 1230158), Siamsinpawlpi Residential School (affiliation no. 1230159), Salt Brook School (affiliation no. 1230160), Young Learners’ School (affiliation no. 1230161) Easton Hall School (affiliation no. 1730162), The Dawn School (affiliation no. 1230163), Happy Heart School (affiliation no. 1230164).

 The list also includes Hermon English School (affiliation no. 1230165), Kaikhoen Academy (affiliation no. 1230166), Good Samaritan Public School (affiliation no. 1230167), VK Tawna High School (affiliation no. 1230168), Lighthouse School (affiliation no. 1230169),  2 in 1 Omega Public School and Kindergarten (affiliation no. 1230170), Lhunkhosat Memorial English High School (affiliation no. 1230171), Christian English High School (affiliation no. 1230172), The Elite Higher Secondary School (affiliation no. 1230173), LL Henjou English High School (affiliation no. 1230174), The Diamond English High School (affiliation no. 1230175), LM English School (affiliation no. 1230177) and MBC Higher Secondary School, Kangpokpi (affiliation no. 1230178).


First published:


cbse affiliationsuspended zeoscbse schools in churachandpur

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur


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