Manipur suspends Mobile internet as University Row Rages

Manipur suspends Mobile internet as University Row Rages

IMPHAL, Sept 21 – Mobile Internet services are suspended in Manipur, even as University politics take centre stage in this northeastern state.

Manipur police conducted a search in Manipur University campus at Canchipur near here in the wee hours of Friday and arrested around 70-80 students. Some faculty members of the University were also picked up.
Some of the students sustained injury during the operation. However, they were discharged from hospital after treatment, sources said.

Night scene at time of arrest

Police said the search at five boys’ hostel of the University was conducted based on a complaint lodged by Vice Chancellor Prof K Yugindro.

IGP (Zone I) Clay Khongsai said the students were picked up during the search taken up with written permission of the VC. The IGP informed that those who are not involved in the case will be released after verification.

In his complaint, Prof Yugindro has alleged that he was forced to sign a note of apology for disturbing the peace in the University campus when he along with some officials went to the University to take charge of VC on September 20, police said.

The earlier VC, Prof Adya Prasad Pandey had handed over the charge of Pro-VC to Prof Yugindro a day after he was put under suspension by HRD Ministry on September 17. Subsequently, the Ministry directed the Pro-VC to take care of office of VC of the University.

Police said mobile internet services in the State have been suspended for five days to curb rumours which may affect law and order situation.

Manipur University was in the news since June following agitation by the students and teachers of the University demanding removal of Pandey on charges of irregularities.

The man at the centre of this chaos is Adya Prasad Pandey, whose resignation had been the main demand of the protesting students, teachers and other staff at the university. There were several reasons why the university as a whole was against him holding the post of vice-chancellor, staging a protest that lasted almost 85 days. Amar Yumnam, professor at the economics department of MU, said that there were administrative lapses since the time Pandey assumed vice-chancellor’s position in November 2016.

AP Pandey is at the centre of the row in Manipur University. Image courtesy: Sunzu BachaspatimayumAP Pandey is at the centre of the row in Manipur University.
Yumnam asserts that Pandey had been on leave for over 180 days within his short stint. Even on days when he was present at the university, he would reach late to work at around 1 pm in the afternoon. All the meetings had to be rescheduled because of him. There were Executive Council meetings and Academic Council meetings that were supposed to be held regularly but that did not happen. He added that the positions of the registrar, controller of examinations and librarian are statutory posts to which people were appointed by him. This was done so that Pandey could exercise his power by keeping these people under his mercy, says Yumnam.

In addition to that, there have been charges of Pandey diverting contracts from the state to Lucknow which concerns the university. Earlier, the answer scripts provided by the local suppliers were bought for Rs 6 per sheet which increased almost four times to Rs 24 per sheet when it was bought from a Lucknow supplier, the professor said.

Meanwhile condemning the action in the University, former Chief Minister and CLP leader O Ibobi Singh said that Congress will not remain a silent spectator. He also appealed for release of the students without any condition.

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