Fresh violence in MU, police lob teargas to quell rioting

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IMPHAL, Oct 10 (Newmai): Fresh violence broke out in Manipur University campus on Wednesday as students and police engaged in physical confrontation. Police had to resort to shelling of tear gas to quell the volatile situation.

It all began when students marched to the office of Prof K Yugindro Singh, the Pro-Vice Chancellor of Manipur University, demanding the release of the arrested students and teachers who are still in the judicial custody who were picked up by police after the September 20 midnight raid of the Manipur University hostels. The students also demanded today the withdrawal of FIR lodged against the arrested students and teachers.

As a large number of students marched towards the office of the Pro-Vice Chancellor the police foiled the plan of the students. As a result there was a fierce confrontation between the students and the police. The students were seen pelting stones at the police. The security force resorted to use of tear-gas shells. Even as the situation was getting more volatile, the number of students and the police increased. After an intense confrontation the situation subsided. Later, the police detained around 17 students, according to sources.

Meanwhile, the Centre for Organisation Research & Education (CORE) of Manipur strongly condemned the “renewed violent police action” in Manipur University campus today. The CORE said the police action revealed an extremely mistaken perception and strategy of the government of Manipur and the government of India to bring about a speedy resolution to the over 100 days’ situation in this university. “Every correct step that has been initiated for a resolution of the issues raised by the Manipur University community has been accompanied by two or more wrong ones. Today’s “re-invasion” of the university’s hallowed campus by state security apparatus, and violent action taken against the helpless students struggling to bring a semblance of normal academic atmosphere in the campus is a shameful surrender of sanity and good governance,” the CORE added.

According to the CORE, students and faculty members of Manipur University have been jailed using clearly “false” allegations and by naming them as “terrorist like”. The CORE also said that the “misuse” of power, thus, by authorities of the university has even attracted the displeasure of the Governor of Manipur, who is the Reader of the varsity. National and international attention has been also attracted to this situation from prominent academics of universities as far as in Europe and the US, it further said.

The CORE then urged the governments of Manipur and India to exercise the highest restraint, wisdom and due diligence to bring an immediate end to this unfortunate disruption in the Manipur University that has very adversely affected the State of Manipur and its people. “The present authorities of the MU must take full responsibility to maintain a conducive, dignified and peaceful climate in the campus while a high-level independent Inquiry Committee is presently conducting its mandate received from the Government of India,” the CORE added.

The Manipur University impasse began on May 30. The Manipur University Staff Association (MUSA), the Manipur University Teachers’ Association (MUTA) and the Manipur University Student Union (MUSU) are demanding an enquiry into the alleged administrative and financial irregularities of the Manipur University under Vice Chancellor, Prof AP Pandey. The agitation was lifted agitation after 85 days owing to the August 16 agreement. However, the troubles resumed after the September 20 midnight raid of the Manipur University hostels by the police.

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