The Manipur High Court on has rejected Manipur University Vice Chancellor Adya Prasad Pandey’s petition challenging the Ministry of Human Resource Development’s decision to form a two-member committee to investigate allegations of irregularities against him.
Pandey had wanted the court to stay the memorandum of agreement 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 was completed.
Pandey had filed a similar leave petition before the Supreme Court, which Justices AK Sikri and Ashok Bhushan had disposed off on September 25 after referring it to the High Court.
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Meanwhile, in continuation of their agitation against the deployment of large number security forces inside the premises of Manipur University, hundreds of students took to street on Tuesday at Tiddim road, led by six students’ organisations of the state namely All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU), Democratic Students’ Alliance Manipur (DESAM), Kangleipak Students’ Association (KSA), Manipur Students’ Federation (MSF), Students’ Union of Kangleipak (SUK) and Apunba Ireipakki Maheiroi Sinpanglup (AIMS).
Students from about 10 different schools along the Tiddim Road took part in the protest demonstration. They formed human chain along the western side of the road, shouting slogans against the heavy-handedness of the state security forces and demanded for immediate release of the arrested faculty members and students of the university.
Also Read: Manipur University: Call for 48-hour General Strike from September 26 by Students’ Bodies
Speaking to the media persons on behalf of the six students’ bodies, Suraj Khangembam recapitulated the demand of immediate release of the arrested teachers and students of MU without any charges.
Suraj also asserted that the enquiry over the charges of AP Pandey must be completed timely so as to end the impasse in the university. He also demanded that the security deployed inside the campus must be removed at the earliest to bring normalcy. If the demands are not met, agitation of six students’ bodies will continue, he cautioned.
With support and condemnation pouring in from various organisations and political parties, Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has called for quick and stringent action by the Government of India as well as the State Government of Manipur against the police personnel who have used brutal force against the students.
The AHRC also wrote a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. The AHRC initiated the action after receiving information from Human Rights Alert, Manipur regarding the continued harassment and detention of the students of Manipur University.
Also Read: Manipur University: Seal on VC’s Office Broken, Students and Teachers Remanded to Judicial Custody
The AHRC details the series of events that took place in the matter of the present impasse stating that there has been no rest at Manipur University since the Ministry of Human Resource Development appointed its new Vice Chancellor in October 2016.
On 2nd October,the Chief Minister had sent a second “invitation” for meeting addressed to the The President/ General Secretary of MUSU and Manipur University Teachers’ Association. It has been declined by the MUSU and MUTA jointly stating that they will not hold any talks with the CM until and unless the arrested students and faculty members are released unconditionally and immediately. It is also interesting to point out that almost all the office bearers of the MUSU barring the General Secretary, Laishran Kenedy,(who is still on a hideout) and including the President of MUSU (to whom the invitation was addressed to) are under police custody.
With signs of protests and demonstrations only intensifying by the day, social Media is ablaze with debates and speculations as to why the BJP government is trying so hard to protect AP Panday when Panday himself has appeared to be a risk for the Saffron party in the state ahead of the 2019 General Elections.