The Manipur High Court on Thursday appointed former state chief secretary Jarnail Singh as administrator of Manipur University, which has witnessed large-scale protests by students and teachers in the past six months or so.

The court said it has appointed a “neutral person” as the administrator fully empowered to discharge the duties of the vice chancellor under the Manipur University Act, 2005, and whose “primary duty and responsibility is to bring normalcy in Manipur University”.

The court said Singh is also authorised to appoint “any competent person” as the registrar in charge of the university. He is also empowered to pass, review or revoke orders to bring normalcy back to the university.

Additionally, the court said the appointments of Y Yugindro Singh as the university’s pro vice chancellor and Shyamkesho Singh and Dorendrajit Singh as registrars in charge will remain suspended. The suspension of Adya Prasad Pandey as vice chancellor of the university will continue as well. The court also asked them to hand over charge to Jarnail Singh.

The matter was then listed for further hearing on October 16.

On Wednesday, fresh violence broke out at Manipur University when students clashed with security forces, during which the police used tear gas shells to quell the situation. At least 17 students were detained.

There have been intense protests at the university in the last few months. The university was shut between May 31 and August 23, as the Manipur University Students’ Union, backed by the Manipur University Teachers’ Association, demanded the removal of Pandey, whom they accused of “administrative ineptitude” and “saffronisation”.

In the wake of the protests, Pandey was sent on leave for a month on August 2. Days before his suspension, Pandey appointed Y Yugindro Singh as the university’s pro vice chancellor on September 10, and reinstated M Shyamkesho Singh as the registrar-in-charge. The students’ union and the teachers’ association had objected to Y Yugindro Singh and M Shyamkesho Singh’s appointments, claiming that they amounted to violation of the memorandum of agreement that they signed with the government to end their agitation.