Manipur varsity row: Pandey moves HC against fact-finding committee, students burn his effigies

By M.Devanand Sharma

Imphal (Manipur) , Sept 6 : University Vice Chancellor (VC) A P Pandey has filed a writ petition in the high court, challenging the institution of a two-member fact-finding committee by the HRD ministry to probe the allegations of irregularities levelled against him reported news agency PTI.

The VC, who joined office on September 1 following a month’s leave, moved the court on Wednesday, demanding dissolution of the inquiry panel, his counsel said.

He has set up an office at his official residence as the students and teachers have refused to allow him to enter the central university’s campus.

“Manipur High Court judge N Kotiswar has referred the plea to a larger bench comprising Chief Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar as the issue involves public interests,” the counsel said, adding that the plea has not been admitted as yet.

After resuming office last week, Pandey had released a statement banning Manipur University Teachers’ Association (MUTA) and Manipur University Staff Association (MUSA).

He reasoned that the central university does not have provisions for employees’ bodies.

The ban sparked fresh protests at the university where academic activities had resumed on August 24 following the suspension of 85-day-long strike to press for Pandey’s removal.

Before the agitation’s suspension, the state government and the HRD ministry’s representatives entered into an agreement on August 16 with the protesting bodies – Manipur University Students’ Union (MUSU), MUTA and MUSA.

Pandey’s counsel told media that the Manipur University was not party to the August 16 Memorandum of Agreement (MoA).

“Two of the associations, who had signed the agreement, are not officially recognised bodies as per the provisions of Manipur University Act, 2005,” he claimed.

Meanwhile , The MU students burnt effigies of Prof. AP Pandey in front of the Manipur University Main gate at Canchipur . The Students also locked the room of the Prof. Shamkesho and banned his entry to the University .
MUSU Secretary Anish Singh said the students were compelled to take action as Pandey resumed office even when the probe into the allegations against him is pending.

MUSU president  urged President Ram Nath Kovind to intervene in the matter and allow resumption of normal activities at the varsity.

Later in the  afternoon the students gathered near CC Higher Secondary School and thronged towards towards the official quarters of the VC AP Pandey . The students, were however prevented by the security forces in front of the entry gate of the Officers’ Colony .

Later , at least 21 students were picked up by the police team including MUSU General Secretary Kenedy .

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