Amidst the high drama following the midnight raid at the Manipur University hostels on September 20 by Manipur Police and paramilitary forces, another letter has surfaced which was written to the secretary of the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) by the controversial vice chancellor in charge, Prof. K. Yugindro Singh, resenting the government’s decision to thin down security presence within the university campus.
The letter signed by Prof. Yugindro and dated October 3, also complained against the state government’s decision to “suspend the raid and search operation for the arrest of students, teachers and staff of the University who have been absconding from police arrest because of the legal action taken on FIR No. 223(9) 2018 SJM-PS dated 20-09-2018 filed by me for the terrorised acts (sic.) committed against me and some of my colleagues on the day.”
It also said, “Because of this U-turn stand of the state government, the hard-earned normalcy of the University is now gravely threatened.”
It further charged that, “Some students of the Manipur University Students’ Union (MUSU) have today threatened many officials of the University to stop supply of Admission Forms from the Cash Counter of the Administrative Block and have also threatened many departments of the University not to accept filled-in Admission forms.”
“Now, because of the threat from MUSU’s members, the fate of thousands of aspiring candidates who seek admission to the University is at stake, even though the last date for submission of form has been extended to October 8, 2018,” the letter further complained.
Prof. Yugindro also requested the Centre to do the needful immediately. “In order to save the University from the hands of terrorist like agitators who desire to run the University at their fancy at the behest of a parallel authority.”
The letter also expressed surprise and shock that, “The Governor of the state (Dr. Najma Heptulla) has questioned my taking of charge of VC of the Manipur University and expressed, unfortunately, her overt support in favour of the agitators at the University, in my meeting with her on September 21, 2018.”
Further, Prof. Yugindro claimed that his life is at risk and therefore, requested the Centre to provide him with Y-Category security guards saying, “I am sure that I will face soon a similar situation as that of the Vice-Chandellor Prof. A.P. Pandey who is now under suspension, unless there is timely intervention from the Centre.”
Meanwhile, the tribal student organisations in Manipur have taken a resolution to launch a 5-day economic blockade in all the national highways under their jurisdictions from 5 A.M. on October 9, if the their demands for the returning of normalcy in Manipur University is not met by October 8. The tribal student bodies also took another resolution to demand for a separate “Hill Central University”.
The All Tribal Students’ Union, Manipur (ATSUM), the Kuki Student Organisation-General Headquarters (KSO-GHQ) and the All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur (ANSAM) had served a 7-day ultimatum on October 2 to the “concerned authorities” for resumption of normal classes and other activities.
According to the outcome of the meeting of the ATSUM, the KSO-GHQ and the ANSAM, the official press release stated that, “Anguished with premeditated holding of thousands of students’ careers to ransom for imposition of the vested interests of few individuals’ agenda in Manipur University, it was resolved that a separate Hill Central University shall be demanded”.
The other resolution said that, “In pursuance of the demand for Hill Central University and also as an expression of resentment over the failure of the concerned authorities (Central government, State Government and agitators) to resolve the Manipur University deadlock, a five-day economic blockade will be imposed from 5 A.M. of October 9.”
According to a local daily, tribal students’ organisations have said that every year, the tribal students face hardship “as problems after problems created by vested interests of people in the Manipur University continue with their game”. They said that colleges in the hills affiliated to Manipur University also suffer immensely. “Now, we want a Hill Central University so that all the colleges in the hill districts can affiliate to it and then have an ideal academic ambience,” said an ATSUM leader.