Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Saturday said that the state government will stand by the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) signed between HRD Ministry and Manipur University (MU) community on August 16, that brought to an end the 85 days long campus shutdown strike. Singh came out with the statement in wake of varsity students protest triggered by the refusal of incumbent V-C of MU, Prof. Adya Prasad Pandey, to accept his leave extension.
“The Memorandum of Agreement signed between the Central Government and MU community in my presence is binding on all the parties, and there should not be any doubt on it”, he said.
He further opined that although the state cannot directly intervene in the matter, it (state) is pursuing the Central Government to take appropriate action against Prof. AP. Pandey. The MoA led to the institution of a two-member independent inquiry team to probe the allegation levelled against Prof. Pandey. As per the agreement, Pandey will be on leave during the inquiry period and until follow up action taken during the inquiry period of 15 days. He was given leave from August 2. However, on September 1, he announced that he had resumed his duty as V-C allegedly violating the MoA.
On September 3 the MU authority extended the leave period of Prof. AP Pandey with effect from September 1, the same day of his joining, until the completion of the inquiry proceedings against him and until the necessaries follow up action is taken on the inquiry report by the competent authority.
However, Pandey refused to accept the extension on the basis that it was issued by his lower rank officer and resumed his duty from a camp office set up at his quarter. His refusal has prompted the Manipur University Students’ Union (MUSU) to resume its agitation demanding Pandey’s removal. As part of its protest, MUSU volunteer on Friday staged a protest infront of Governor’s bungalow resulting in the brief detention of hordes of protestors. The agitation has also resulted in the postponement of the postgraduate examination once again threatening the academic atmosphere of the varsity.