The police fired tear gas shells and carried out mock bomb attacks during midnight raids at Manipur University on Thursday. Around 90 students and five faculty members have been arrested, according to FirstPost.
This comes hours after Pro Vice Chancellor Y Yugindro Singh entered the campus to take charge as the interim vice chancellor, reported Imphal Times. Vice Chancellor AP Pandey, who is suspended pending completion of an inquiry against him, accompanied Singh with security personnel and arms.
The Congress condemned the police raids and called it the “new facet of fascism”.
The university was closed between May 31 and August 23, while the students’ union agitated with a single-point demand for Pandey’s removal for alleged administrative ineptitude. The protestors called off their 85-day-long agitation after the authorities promised an independent inquiry committee would look into their allegations. The protestors have accused Pandey of incompetence and conducting several “non-academic activities” out of his office after taking charge in October 2016. He has also failed to fill key positions such as that of the university’s chancellor and registrar.
On August 16, a memorandum of agreement was signed between the students’ union, the teachers’ association, the staff association and representatives of the Ministry of Human Resource Development and the state government. According to the agreement, Pandey was supposed to be on leave till the inquiry against him is completed.
Pandey, who was sent on a month-long leave on August 2 after a section of students and teachers began protesting against him in May, resumed duty earlier this month and promptly banned two protesting employees’ outfits at the institution.
On September 4, Pandey moved the High Court challenging the Ministry of Human Resource Development’s decision to form a two-member committee to investigate allegations of irregularities against him. The vice chancellor has appealed that the inquiry panel be disbanded.