Manipur University: Student strike hits normal life

Manipur University: Student strike hits normal life

Manipur University Student's Union (MUSU) raise slogans demanding the removal of Vice Chancellor Adya Prasad Pandey, in New Delhi on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (PTI Photo/Arun Sharma)

The two-day state-wide general strike called by the Manipur University Student's Union (MUSU) demanding removal of Vice Chancellor Adya Prasad Pandey disrupted normal life on Wednesday with vehicular movement being blocked and business establishments and markets remaining shut.

The strike, which began around midnight, is being supported by several other student bodies, including the All Manipur Student's Union, Democratic Students Alliance of Manipur, Manipur Students Federation and Manipur People's Party. 

Around seven students were also injured on Monday as police tried to disperse students who were storming towards Raj Bhavan and BJP Manipur office. A protesting student leader Shital also sustained serious injuries after a lorry ran over his arm and shoulder as he fell down when police tried to push back the agitating students, according to Imphal free press

On Wednesday, a large number of MUSU members came out on the streets of Canchipur area where the university campus is located, and put up bamboo barricades on the roads, the police said. 

All inter-state, inter-district bus, taxi and auto-rickshaw services were withdrawn and business establishments including markets, hotels and malls were closed, they said.

Educational institutions, schools and colleges remained shut, the police said.

Large contingents of security personnel have been deployed at Keisampat, Thangmeiband, Singjamei and other localities in the state capital, including the 'high-security' zone, they said.

At the Governor's House, guarded by CRPF personnel, barricades have been set up at the gates and police commandos posted, police said.

Academic activity at the central university has remained suspended for the past 49 days as teachers, students and staff associations are demanding the removal of Pandey over alleged financial irregularities and administrative negligence.

MUSU office bearer S Anish told PTI that the union will not accept the reconstituted fact-finding committee of the HRD Ministry as the main objective of the agitation is "removal of the VC in the first place to be followed by an investigation into the charges of financial irregularities and administrative ineptitude".

Acknowledging the inconvenience being faced by the people due to the agitation, he said the MUSU has been "forced to impose it" to save the careers of thousand of students.

An official release issued last night said that a retired chief justice of the Meghalaya High Court will be part of the fact-finding committee, along with a UGC representative and an HRD Ministry representative.

Chief Minister N Biren Singh has suggested that the vice-chancellor "should go on leave during the enquiry", the release said.

Meanwhile, the Manipur University Teachers Association has said that neither will it cooperate with the committee nor allow any investigating official to enter the varsity campus. 

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