Students of Manipur University on Monday staged a sit-in protest in response to acting Vice Chancellor Prof K Yugindro’s remarks that compared them to “terrorists”. as stated by a student leader.
Acting Vice Chancellor K Yugindro in a letter to Ministry of Human Resource and Development on October 3, had sought immediate steps from the Centre to “save” the university from the hands of “terrorist-like” agitators.
The agitators also wanted withdrawal of the “baseless” FIR lodged by the VC on September 20, which was preceded by a midnight raid by security forces, that led to the arrest of 89 students and teachers.
Professor I Tomba, an office bearer of the Manipur University Teachers Association (MUTA), said its members would not work together with Yugindro for his use of words like “terrorists”.
Yugindro in his letter said,"I would like to request the Centre to do the needful immediately in order to save the university from the hands of terrorists like agitators...,"
Tomba said the teachers would go for a mass casual leave on October 10 in protest against the delay in releasing the arrested teachers and students along with withdrawal of the FIR, which was launched in accordance with a complaint by Yugindro.
The protests come in between the pending second round of talks between the chief secretary, and three prominent tribal student bodies over enforcement of economic blockade for five days from October 9 on all highways of the state.
All Tribal Students Union Manipur (ATSUM) leader Micah said the economic blockade called by three prominent tribal students bodies was suspended after talks with Chief Minister N Biren Singh and Chief Secretary J Suresh
On Sunday talks between the Manipur government and a 16-member delegation of the All Manipur Tribal Students Union (ATSUM), All Naga Students Association (ANSAM) and Kuki Students Organisation (KSO) had failed to arrive at a decision regarding the proposed blockade.
Micah said they have placed two demands namely, restoration of normalcy in the Manipur University and upgradation of Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (Regional Campus) into a full-fledged of a central university.
The Manipur University has been witnessing agitation for several months. Following an 85-day strike by students, it was opened on August 23. The agitators had been demanding removal of the then vice chancellor A P Pandey for alleged administrative and financial anomalies.