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Arrested Students and Faculty Members Released, Manipur University Returns to Normalcy After Months of Protest

After a series of meetings that happened between the Manipur government and protesting students, Manipur University students and faculty have been released from the Jail. The state government held discussions with representatives of All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU), Manipur Students’ Federation (MSF), Democratic Students Alliance of Manipur (DESA), Kangleipak Students’ Association (KSA), Students’ Union of Kangleipak (SUK) and Apunba Ireipakki Maheiroi Sinpanglup (AIMS) on 15th October. The student bodies have now called off the agitation.

As per the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the representatives, the state government also extended support to the two independent enquiry committees to accelerate the ongoing enquiry against Prof. Adya Prasad Pandey. The government also agreed to request MHRD to fill up statutory vacant posts in the University for its smooth functioning and urge the central government to relocate the existing paramilitary unit stationed at Langthabal within the University campus. The student community and the State Government also resolved to cooperate and mutually restrain from student violence or drastic police action in educational institutions as far as possible.

“Now the enquiry committee has started functioning. So we will fully cooperate with that and we will never allow the agenda of Prof AP Pandey to continue in the university.”, stated Kendy Athouba, General Secretary of MUSU.

6 agitating professors and 89 students were arrested on 21st September 2018 on the basis of an FIR filed by ex- Vice Chancellor Prof Yugindro which named 31 activists of Manipur University Teachers Association, Manipur University Students Union and MUSA and charged them with intimidation, attempt to murder and wrongful confinement. While everyone were released, the case against one of the members have not been dropped since he was not a member of the university community.

Following the suspension of ex-Vice Chancellor AP Pandey, Prof Yugindro was appointed as the acting VC. AP Pandey was suspended earlier on 17th September in light of the protest by faculties and students from May 30th who alleged that he had flouted provisions of the Manipur University Act. The Manipur High Court then suspended Prof Yugindro on 11th October and appointed former state chief secretary Jarnail Singh as the university’s administrator.

Following the decision, Governor Najma Heptulla had appreciated the High Court’s decision and called it the first step to restore normalcy in the university.

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