Imphal: A forty-eight-hour general strike was called by the Manipur University Students’ Union, demanding the removal of the university vice-chancellor. The state government totally empathizes with the students and teachers of the university and the issues they had brought up said, N. Biren Singh, Manipur chief minister.
The shops, markets, educational institutes and government offices remained closed, and vehicular movement was adjourned due to the strike. They burnt tyres and put up barricades in the middle of the road at certain places. Near the chief minister’s bungalow, Raj Bhavan and the surrounding places huge security was organized.
DGP, L.M. Khaute said that the strike was held peacefully, and all the 17 students arrested yesterday, were released last night itself. The Democratic Students’ Alliance of Manipur (DESAM), All Manipur Students’ Union and the Manipur Students’ Federation supported the strike. All academic activity had endured suspended at the central university for the past fifty days as the teachers’ and staff associations are also demanding Pandey’s removal.
The chief minister told reporters that the state government had advised the Centre to form a fact-finding committee, which would be headed by a retired chief justice of a high court, to investigate the accusations against Pandey. “If found guilty, he should be ousted from his post,” Singh, who spoke to the reporters after visiting an injured DESAM leader at a hospital here, said.
However, the students have described the re-constitution as an “eyewash” and said that they are not willing to cooperate with the new committee.
The Manipur University Teachers’ Association has also said it will not allow any official to enter the university premises. Raj Bhavan sources said that the chief minister met Najma Heptulla, the Governor, at the Raj Bhavan to discuss about the university issue. The governor also explained the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind about the situation regarding the university, the sources added.