At least seven people were injured at Kangla Fort in Imphal on Tuesday when the police baton charged protestors who were demanding that Manipur University Vice Chancellor Adya Prasad Pandey be sacked over alleged malpractices and administrative negligence.
The varsity has been shut for over 47 days as students and teachers demand Pandey’s sacking.
Members of the Democratic Students’ Alliance of Manipur burnt effigies of Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh and Pandey, The Telegraph reported. The protestors also tried to storm the chief minister’s bungalow, leading to another baton charge by the police. An unidentified number of protestors were arrested.
“The state government must take this issue seriously as it has worsened the academic atmosphere in Manipur,” Democratic Students’ Alliance of Manipur President Salam Akash said. “We will continue to agitate until the HRD ministry gives a satisfactory reply. The ministry’s decision should not be against the will of students and teachers. We support the 48-hour general strike imposed by the Manipur University Students’ Union.”
Akash met Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla on Wednesday, The Times of India reported. “We urged the governor to request the Centre to resolve the university crisis, failing which the agitation will be intensified,” Akash said.
On Tuesday, the Centre reconstituted a fact-finding committee to investigate the allegations against Pandey, PTI reported. Students had criticised the earlier committee the Centre had formed on July 12, and had demanded an independent panel headed by a retired high court judge.
The new committee, headed by T Nandakumar Singh, former acting Chief Justice of the High Court of Meghalaya, has to submit its report in a month. The previous committee had a representative of the University Grants Commission and another from the Ministry of Human Resource Development.