As the 48- hour general strike ended on September 29, the six students’ bodies comprising All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU), Apunba Ireipak Maheiroi (AIMS), Democratic Students’ Alliance of Manipur (DESAM), Kangleipak Students’ Association (KSA), Manipuri Students’ Federation (MSF) and Students’ Union of Kangleipak (SUK) have condemned both the state and central governments of inflaming and prolonging the Manipur University (MU) crisis while also declaring that further agitations will continue until the issue is resolved amicably.
Controversial VC is BJP’s Henchman
A joint release from the six students’ bodies alleged that the on-going crisis at the varsity which has adversely affected the academic careers of thousands of students is the fault of the BJP and the RSS. “Both the state and central governments backed by the RSS have been the main source of the crisis with their continued attempt to save their henchman, AP Pandey,” it said while adding that the recent actions of the state government is a clear indication that CM N. Biren is a mere puppet following the imperialist agenda of the central government.
While expressing gratitude to the people of Manipur for their support and solidarity towards the 48-hour general strike called by the students’ bodies and foiling the propaganda initiated by the government to show them in the wrong light, the release also asserted that the allegations of manhandling Prof. K. Yugindro and keeping him confined for more than three hours is absurd and nothing but an attempt of revenge for the agitations launched against the wrongdoings of AP Pandey and his removal as VC of the varsity.
It further condemned the midnight raids conducted at the MU hostels by state security personnel and paramilitary forces and the subsequent arrests of teachers and students on false charges.
Government Using Crisis to Fuel Divide
The release further charged the state government of being unable to utilise the Manipur police force against the recent attack on members of AMSU at Nungba by alleged National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) [NSCN-IM] cadres while also condemning the government for remaining silent on the border pillar issue. It also alleged both the state and central governments of fostering the hill-valley divide and inflaming communal tensions with regard to the varsity crisis.
Asserting that the breach of the MoA by the government is public knowledge, the release also stated that the offer for negotiations made by the CM is nothing but an act of hypocrisy. Instead of offering initiatives for talks and negotiations, the government should concentrate on fulfilling the terms of the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) signed between the MU bodies and MHRD in the presence of the chief minister, it continued while adding that the initiative for negotiations does not make sense when the police are continually attempting to arrest student leaders and teachers.
Another incident which has surfaced is the arrest of the father of a student from their residence. The Manipur police have allegedly arrested the father of a schoolboy when they were unable to arrest the schoolboy. Condemning this incident, locals are lashing out at the BJP Government.
State secretary of Communist Party of India, Manipur, L. Sotin Kumar while addressing media persons at their office today said, “Using different forces the state government has tried different means and issued different warnings to break the two-day general strike called by the student bodies but the successfully concluded general strike shows that the people of the state have lost their faith in the present government.”
Speaking about the prevailing issue at the university, he said that the government could have waited for an appropriate time even if they wanted to arrest any suspects but their brutal action inside the university campus that night will be remembered in the history of Manipur.