MU row turns into slugfest between VC, agitators

IMPHAL, 10th July: Continuing verbal sparring with vice chancellor AP Pandey over the ongoing imbroglio in the state’s highest educational centre, a joint statement of MUSU, MUTA and MUSA said the Manipur University community was amazed over the statement issued in the name of PRO office, MU about the ‘irrepressible loss’.

The second PRO statement in as many days manifests the already proven incompetence, shallowness of thinking and lack of commitment of the incumbent VC AP Pandey, the joint statement said while asserting that professor Pandey should immediately stop further indulgence in bluff and disrespect to the people of Manipur and also stop compromising the sanctity of the offices of Manipur University.
Reacting to charges levelled against him, Prof Pandey said that locking the doors of any office forcefully and causing trouble to general public and students is illegal and unethical. The volunteers of MUSU have locked the doors of the offices of Controller of Examination, Registrar and all the administrative block of the university since May 30 which has resulted in various examinations of the university being forcefully postponed, he mentioned.

On the other-hand, the joint statement of the bodies, while condemning the PRO office statement issued for the second time in two days contended that Manipur has seen enough of the shameless audacity of professor AP Pandey who issues unsigned statements to media houses warning the university community. Professor Pandey has never displayed in his tenure as VC so far that he is aware of the University Act, Statutes and Ordinance of Manipur University but talks of Code of Conduct now, it said.

As uninformed as he is about the University Act, professor Pandey has assumed himself to be authority of the university while the University Act classifies the VC as one of the officers. It is this ignorance which gave professor Pandey the false courage to put a statement in the public domain that the holding of meetings of statutory bodies is not mandatory. As someone who had hardly stayed in station and never attended office in time while in station, it was almost ridiculous for professor Pandey to claim as someone thinking for the welfare of students. As someone who encircles himself with armed security personnel all the time, the Manipur University community are astonished by the claim of VC Pandey as someone committed to the cause of academic, the joint statement said and accused VC Pandey of issuing press statement under the name of PRO office while there is no PRO in MU.

While any public statement/official announcement is invariably made by an official, the two recent statements were made by the unsigned PRO office, the joint statement said, adding that this was a blatant indulgence in continuing professor Pandey’s old habit of assuming that everybody can be fooled and all the time.

Further, the joint statement asked professor Pandey not to drag in the good of offices of Governor and chief minister in his ignoble PRO office statements and stop disrespecting the people of Manipur. In naother statement, MUSU said that the Governor and the chief minister of the state should intervene immediately and bring a solution to the crisis at Manipur University. It also warned that VC professor Pandey should stop giving threat to Manipur University community.

While appealing to the student leaders, teachers and non-teaching staff representatives to come forward for an open dialogue by keeping their self-interests and egos aside for the welfare of the students, a statement issued Tuesday by PRO Office, Manipur University, Prof Pandey said that locking the doors of any office of revered institutions forcefully and causing trouble is illegal and unethical. The volunteers of MUSU have locked the doors of the offices of Controller of Examination, Registrar and all the administrative block of the university since May 30 which has resulted in various examinations of the university being forcefully postponed, it added.

The statement alleged that MUSU is serving its own interest and is not bothered about the future of more than 60,000 undergraduate and more than 5000 post graduate students. Astonishingly some teachers in the name of MUTA and few staff in the name of MUSA are also helping them to create problems in the university. All these protests are completely illegal and against the ethics of discipline. Due to this, examination of post graduate, declaration of results for undergraduate students whose exam was over in April and May are also delayed.

The statement also asserted that it is neither the fault of the VC nor of the MU, and since the administrative blocks of the university are locked by MUSU, all works of the university have been affected. Salaries of the employees, scholarships of students and research scholars could not be paid since all the files, documents and records are inside the office. In this context it should be clear to each and everyone that this closure and blocking of normal activities of the university are done by MUSU and supported by some teachers and later on by few non-teaching staff. They may be economically sound to have their expenses paid for a longer duration but they should also think about the economic condition of other employees whose families are suffering a lot due to non-payment of salaries. They should also consider about the career of other students who want to get admission in the university and those who are waiting for their results to go outside the state for higher studies. If the shutdown by MUSU and MUTA continues, one year of all the students will be washed out, it warned.

The agitators are misguiding the common people also by blaming the vice chancellor and university administration. They are publicly threatening the students, teachers and employees to join their illegal stir or agitation. They have compelled the deans, heads of departments to resign and also the teachers to stop the work of university. Public should also realise the reality as to why during the examinations only, they are creating trouble in the university. What were they doing earlier if at all there were something wrong?, the statement questioned.

Forcefully locking of public offices and important academic institutes of students is illegal. Causing harm to the student's career, blame game and threatening others by MUSU and MUTA should be stopped immediately. They should withdraw their agitation and come forward to discuss any grievances if they really want to resolve the issue instead of resorting to undemocratic agitation with false propaganda, it denounced.

Deeply concerned over the ongoing imbroglio at Manipur University, All Manipur College Teachers’ Association (AMCTA) has drawn attention of the Governor, who is the chief rector of the university, to intervene and bring an amicable solution at the earliest in the interest of the students and development of higher education in Manipur.

In a statement, AMCTA said that the ongoing agitation of students, teachers and non-teaching staff has seriously affected academic atmosphere both at MU and colleges affiliated to it for more than 40 days. Declaration of the results of BA, BSc and B Com examinations conducted by the university has also been delayed due to the ongoing crisis which has seriously affected students who are desirous of pursuing higher studies at universities other than MU. Endorsing the demands of MUSU, MUTA and MUSA, Pangal Political Forum (PPF), Manipur has extended support to the ongoing agitation for removal of VC Prof Pandey from his post.

According to a statement, PPF spokesperson MI Khan said the movement for removal of Prof Adya Prasad Pandey is reasonable and genuine. It is highly condemnable that the state government and Union government failed to address the problems of MU. Here, it is questionable if Prof Prasad is more important than the students’ career and Manipur University. He also strongly condemned the VC for not allowing observance of anniversary function of the first MU Vice Chancellor.

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