Students take to street over unsolved ‘issues’

IMPHAL, 7th June: The ongoing agitation launched by students, teachers and staff of Manipur University demanding resignation of vice-chancellor Prof Adya Prasad Pandey has intensified with joining of college students even as students of Ibotonsana Girls Higher Secondary School, Uripok denounced alleged failure by the government of Manipur to bring amicable solution to various ‘distressful’ issues besetting the state.

Endorsing the ongoing stir of MUSU, a large number of students from different colleges of the state tried to storm the chief minister’s bungalow Saturday which led to an intense showdown between the agitating students and police personnel. Spearheaded by newly floated Joint College Students Forum (JCSF), college students gathered in front of the chief minister’s office to submit memorandum but the police prevented them from meeting the CM which led to pushing and shoving between students and police personnel. In the subsequent police action, some students were hurt and admitted to hospital for treatment.

JCSF leaders were about to submit a memorandum highlighting possible loss of academic career of college students to the chief minister but the brutal action of police forced them to leave the place without submitting the same. At about 10am, two groups of college students coming from different sides gathered in front of CM’s bungalow to submit the memorandum but a large team of Imphal West district police dispersed the students which led to an intense showdown. In an effort to control the situation, the police even detained four students but all of them were released after some representatives of JCSF were selected to meet the CM. Students were made to wait for the CM in front of Nupi Lal complex till 2pm. But when they came to know that the CM was not at the office but attending a function, the students once again gathered in front of the CM’s bungalow. As some of the agitating students started knocking the main gate of the bungalow, additional police force arrived at the spot to control the situation but unable to do so prompted police to baton charge the students.

The MU mpasse will ruin career of students studying in government colleges and as such authority concerned should resolve the issue within three days or face intense agitation, cautioned Forum convener Vikash Arambam. Holding a press conference held at GP Women’s College, Vikash alleged that Manipur University vice chancellor Prof AP Pandey is not a responsible person as is evident from the VC equating university students to terrorists.

He is responsible for the disturbance in academic atmosphere at MU and the threat to college students’ career all over the state. He continued that many students are awaiting for the result of BA/BSc/BCom 6th semester examination result. So any further delay in declaration of the result could make the students lose an academic year.

Vikash also strongly condemned the inhuman action of the police personnel towards the students who took part in a protest rally. Many students including college students were injured. The injured students have been identified as Nungleppamcha Lanleiba, Robinson Wahengbam, Sh James Sharma and Huidrom Johnson. They were hospitalised at Advance hospital for treatment as one of them suffered suffocation. Chief Minister N Biren should be held responsible for all this, he added.

Vikash demanded that the state government, Union government and other authority concerned resolve the MU issue within three days. In case of failure, the college students will launch intense agitation, he warned.

Meanwhile, Manipur University Students’ Union and Manipur University Teachers Association have strongly condemned the police action against college students who were demanding declaration of results for 6th semester exam. Addressing media persons at its office, MUSU president M Dayaman said that it was very unfortunate that chief minister N Biren remained silent when college students were demanding declaration of 6th semester exam after fearing loss of their academic due to the ongoing MU crisis. Today’s action shows that Manipur government is under VC Pandey, he said, and announced that MUSU withdrew the invitation to hold talk with government on Saturday over the CM’s attitude. He maintained that the ongoing stir would continue till resignation of VC Pandey.

In another press conference held at MUTA office, association president professor I Tomba condemned the brutal police action against college students and also announced withdrawal from the talk proposed by government at 3pm Saturday.

On the other-hand, students of Ibotonsana Girls Higher Secondary School under the aegis of Socialist Students’ Union of Manipur (SSUM) also took part in a protest demonstration by forming human chain along Imphal-Jiribam road on Saturday demanding early solution to various issues facing in the state including the border issue.

A group of media persons on their way back from Porompat side was denied passage by traffic police in front of City Convention Centre. Despite showing ID cards by the media persons, a traffic police officer blocked the way stating that nobody including media persons can pass from there as per instructions from the higher officers. The officer also asked the scribes to take a bypass from Sanjenthong if they want to proceed. Later, after some argument, the officer allowed the media persons to move on.

The media persons were heading towards Uripok to cover the protest demonstration of the students. The students of Ibotonsana Girls Higher Secondary School demanded the government to bring early solutions to issues like Indo-Myanmar border, ILPS, dope controversy of weightlifter Sanjita Chanu and transfer of school teachers.

Speaking to media persons on the sidelines of the protest, SSUM vice-president L Gyaneshwar said that the government should bring out the truth behind the border issue especially regarding border pillar no. 81, which is said to have been relocated 3 km inside Manipur. People of the state will not concede an inch of land to Myanmar and the government should take up necessary initiatives accordingly, he demanded.

Welcoming the initiative of the government to pass a bill to protect the indigenous people of the state, he demanded the government to place the draft bill in public domain before introducing it in the state assembly. At the same time, the dope controversy of weightlifter Sanjita Chanu is a serious matter and the state government should take up strong initiative to find out the truth behind the controversy and bring justice to the state lifter, who won gold medal in the Commonwealth Games. At the same time, frequent transfer of school teachers has severely affected the academic atmosphere in the government schools and the government should look into this matter and resolve it at the earliest, he said, while cautioning of launching intense agitation if the government fails to fulfil their demands.

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