Several tribal student bodies are coming together to protest on July 18 at Shastri Bhavan, Central Secretariat, Delhi, following the “deadlock” in the Manipur University campus. The university students have been protesting for removal of Vice Chancellor Adya Prasad Pandey for at least a month and a half. Pandey was appointed as the VC in October 2016. Students have claimed that the VC has hardly stayed in the premises.
“He is out of station most of time, and he works for less than 10 days in a month. He is irregular and that is hampering the work in the university. The absence of the VC from the varsity has sabotaged the working of the university,” alleged Dayaman, president, Manipur University Students’ Union (MUSU). A statement by Manipur Students’ Association Delhi (MSAD) reads, “Manipur University has been reduced to a beehive of mainstream Indian Hindutva politics by the incompetent and spineless Brahmin sent from Delhi who needs Y- Category security to dirty up the university space. The Vice Chancellor has created confusion on the minds of the people whether RSS agent is a military officer or an academician.”
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“MHRD constituted a fact-finding committee of a joint secretary, UGC and deputy secretary, MHRD, which is way too far from our demand. We do not accept this committee. We demand immediate removal. After removal, there can be an independent high level committee for enquiry,” Dayaman said while adding that the mass protest is to support them. “They are supporting us, but they are also highlighting different issues of our state for which they want to get attention from the government,” he said.
“Manipur University, which is meant to be a thriving arena of fervent culture of political discourse, has been in tremendous structural breakdown in the last one and half month. It seems to be clear that the Indian government wants to wipe out the intellectual faculty of a whole society. The nature, as usual, from Delhi is such that they are not satisfied yet with the presence of a military battalion inside the campus, the only of such kind in the whole world. The recent reaction from Delhi was to call in more armed forces into the campus,” read the statement by MSAD.
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Students maintain that there has been a delay in the working of the university, owing to the vice chancellor’s personal bias. "Regular registrar, librarian, examination controller are not appointed. They are hired on contractual basis. Selection process is influenced by the personal bias of the vice chancellor," said a university student on the basis of anonymity.
The protest will also highlight other issues pertaining to Manipur like arbitrary eviction at Khetri Bengoon (Awangching), Imphal East and the border conflict between Manipur and Myanmar. “The recent arbitrary eviction at Khetri Bengoon, (Awangching), Imphal East is a reflection of Hindutva Biren government of Manipur that is dictated from Delhi, to play a divisive politics of hatred. The new border issue again poses an existential threat to the territoriality of Manipur,” the MSAD statement reads.
The joint protest will be attended by Delhi Association of Manipur Muslim Students (DAMMS), United Kakching Students, Delhi (UNIKAS), JAC Against the Cessation of Land to Mayanmar by Government of India (JAC-ACOLMGOI). “The people of Manipur seek democracy and not the peculiar democracy of this so called largest democracy. We now call for a collective mass protest rally of all the people of Manipur residing in Delhi,” said the statement.
The statement can be read here