The office of Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla has criticised Manipur University’s acting Vice Chancellor Y Yugindro Singh for accusing the governor of supporting student agitators, PTI reported on Monday.
In a letter to Yugindro Singh on Saturday, the Raj Bhavan said his statement may amount to defamation as well as the non-observance of protocol and propriety since the governor is the state’s constitutional head.
On October 3, Yugindro Singh wrote to the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, asking it to take immediate steps to protect the university from “terrorists-like” agitators.
Yugindro Singh also alleged that Heptulla, during a meeting on September 21, had questioned his taking over as vice chancellor and had expressed her support for the agitators.
There have been intense protests at the university in the last few months. The institution was shut between May 31 and August 23, as the Manipur University Students’ Union, backed by the Manipur University Teachers’ Association, agitated for the removal of Vice Chancellor Adya Prasad Pandey, whom they accused of “administrative ineptitude” and “saffronisation”. Pandey was suspended on September 19 and will remain under suspension till an inquiry against him is complete.
“The honourable governor is upset and surprised by your utterances which are misdirected and misleading...,” the Raj Bhavan wrote in the letter. “The governor was naturally disturbed and concerned with all that was happening on the campus, causing academic loss to thousands of students.”
The Raj Bhavan said it was unfortunate that Singh had used the term terrorist “in the context of students and teachers, and such indiscretion will lead to further worsening of the situation on the campus”.
Meanwhile, students at the university staged a sit-in protest against Yugindro Singh’s remarks. Manipur University Students’ Union President M Dayamand demanded that the government withdraw the first information reports lodged against students and teachers on Singh’s complaint after midnight raids at the university on September 20.