Police foil rally at MU, tear-gas, arrest students

IMPHAL, 10th Oct, 2018: Many students of Manipur University took out a rally inside the university campus on Wednesday noon demanding immediate release of arrested teachers, students and others unconditionally; withdrawal of security forces from the campus and revocation of suspension orders of employees. Police responded by launching crackdown against the protesters and arresting demonstration leaders.
The MU imbroglio is likely to deepen further as six student organisations warned of launching intense forms of agitation against the failure to resolve Manipur University impasse and Prof Yugindro does not honour their demand to issue clarification on calling the agitators 'terrorists'.
On reaching the A-Block area, a tussle broke out between the agitators and police personnel which resulted in arrest of many of the agitators.
The agitators who were shouting different slogans demanding the authority to release the jailed teachers, students and others by revoking the lodged FIR, withdrawal of security forces deployed inside university campus and revocation of suspension orders of employees were stopped by the police personnel on reaching the A-Block area at about 12.30 pm. However, the students tried to storm the A-Block campus, thus resulting in a scuffle between police and students. The police personnel were led by Additional SP (LO) Sarangthem Hemanta. As the police failed to control the situation, they fired smoke bomb to disperse the agitators but the students retaliated by pelting stones towards the police personnel.
Later, police managed to disperse the students by firing tear gas canisters. Though the agitated students retreated in order to escape from the volley of tear gas, they continued to rain stones at the police.

The front windshield of the vehicle belonging to Imphal West DSP (Ops) was shattered in stone pelting but no one was injured.
Imphal West district SP Haobijam Jogeshchandra along with a large number of police personnel rushed in and chased the fleeing agitators.
It was followed by sealing all exit/entry points of the university and restricted movement inside the campus for some hours. But entry and exit were later on allowed after police verification. The police personnel also conducted checking and verification in front of boys’ hostels by lining up the hostellers.
Later, the police rounded up students who allegedly took part in the protest in front of the A-Block and handed them over to Singjamei Police Station. The arrested students, as per information received till filing of this report, have been identified as Gautam Oinam (28) s/o O Maipak Singh of Haobam Marak Irom Leikai; Arambam Vikash (20) s/o late A Dijen of Chingmeirong East; Sanasam Mumbai Singh (18) s/o S Bihari Singh of Wangoo Sanasam Leikai; Khunjambam Lamjingba Meitei (22) s/o Kh Inaocha Singh of Nungoi Awang Leikai; Wahengbam Sunand Singh (22) s/o W Debendra Singh of Hiyanglam Awang Leikai; Thongam Rabichandra Meitei (22) s/o Th Rajen Meitei of Charangpat Maning Leikai; Leishangthem Lamyanba Meitei (22) s/o L Mangisana Meitei of Paona Keithel near Masjid road; Shamulailatpam Reshikumar Sharma (23) s/o Sh Devananda Sharma of Nambol Awang Leikai; Taibangsatpa Laishram (24) s/o Shantikumar Laishram of Chanam Pukhri Mapal; Bonish Khaidem (23) s/o Kh Sarat Singh of Takyel Kolom Leikai; Salam Chingkheinganba (23) s/o S Gojen Meitei of Chingamakha Kshetri Leikai; Donald Sairem (24) s/o S Tomba Singh of Wangkhei Ningthem Pukhri Mapal; and Kabrabam Dhaneshwor Singh (24) s/o K Ibobi Singh of Lambal Lamsang.
Regarding the incident, SP Jogeshchandra said that the police managed to foil the attempt to storm the A-Block by the students. With the permission of university authority, verification of students at boys’ hostels was carried out. Altogether 13 students, who took part in the agitation, were arrested and proper identification of the arrested students will be done.
On the other hand, many students belonging to different departments continued to shut down their respective departments since Monday to protest alleged indifferent attitude of authority concerned to their demands. They said that the shut down will continue till the authority brings normalcy in the varsity.
On Wednesday, Adult Education, Education, Teachers’ Education, History, Sociology, Centre for Entrepreneurship and Skill Development, Library and Information Science, Bio-Chemistry, Anthropology, Political Science departments were shut down.
Meanwhile, demanding clarification from professor Yugindro regarding terming of MU agitators as ‘terrorist’, six student organisations warned of launching intense forms of agitation against the failure to resolve Manipur University impasse.
Leaders of the six student organisations namely DESAM, AMSU, KSA, SUK, AIMS and MSF convened a joint meet Wednesday and discussed the ongoing impasse at Manipur University. The meeting later resolved to submit a charter of demands containing five points to the government which include completion and submission of the two-man enquiry committee within 10 days. Other points in the charter of demands were relieving pro-VC professor Yugindro and registrar in-charge professor M Shyamkesho from their duties during the enquiry period, appointment of all regular statutory posts of MU within three months after submission of enquiry report, no deployment of security forces in MU campus and action against professor Yugindro for filing false FIR.
Addressing media persons at AMSU headquarters, convener of the student bodies Ngariyanbam Milan said MU community has been launching agitation since May 30 last demanding removal of inefficient vice-chancellor professor AP Pandey. Normalcy returned in MU after MU community signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with MHRD and state government on August 16. However, based on an FIR filed by professor Yugindro, Manipur police raided MU campus on September 20 midnight and arrested students and teachers and many of them have been sent to jail. The raid conducted by Manipur police not only defiled sanctity of Manipur University but also disturbed normalcy and created chaos in the varsity. The extreme step taken by state government aggravated the situation rather than resolving the MU crisis, Milan said.
Condemning excessive police action against MU students who were holding a peaceful rally on Wednesday, Milan appealed to authority concerned not to repeat such acts in future. Altogether 17 students including two female volunteers of DESAM were arrested by police after the rally and with that the total number of students arrested by police in connection with MU impasse has reached 53, he said.
Demanding immediate and unconditional release of all the arrested students, Milan warned that intense forms of agitation would be launched if government fails to release the arrested students.
Condemning professor Yugindro’s report to MHRD terming MU community as terrorist, Milan said the professor must be responsible for any eventuality if he fails to clarify. He also said that both state and central government should intimate the ministry concerned to resolve MU crisis by releasing all the arrested students and teachers.

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