An organisation comprising six student bodies - the Joint Students' Coordination Committee (JSCC) - has banned school and college students in Manipur from wearing dresses that end above the knees.
In a statement issued here on Monday, the committee said female students should wear the phanek - the traditional ankle-length Manipuri dress worn by women from the Meitei community that dominates the plains of Manipur.
"Under no circumstances will dresses ending above the knee be tolerated," said JSCC committee member A Thoithi.
Apart from demanding "decency" in school and college premises, the committee has banned the use of mobile phones by students during school and college hours. It said such gadgets "pollute the academic atmosphere".
The committee includes All Manipur Students Union, Democratic Students Alliance of Manipur and Manipur Students Federation.
Reacting to the ban, the government said necessary steps would be taken if such diktats were implemented by force. "School and college authorities anyway have the prerogative to take decisions on the kind of uniform students should wear," a government spokesperson said.
Surprisingly, no student organisation in the state has so far opposed the JSCC order. The police have not commented on the diktat either.