Condemning the Saturday night arson in the campus of Manipur University, students and college organisations said that it was an act to derail the ongoing protests and demands for removal of the vice-chancellor.
A fire broke out inside the Manipur University campus which is reeling with protest for several days, where students have given a three-day ultimatum to the state government to declare the results of semester examinations, which have been delayed by the prevailing impasse in the varsity.
The fire occurred in the office of the assistant director of sports at the University on late Saturday night, which was soon doused by the fire tenders. While the authorities are yet to ascertain the cause of the fire, no case of injuries or casualities were reported in the incident. However, several stocks of documents have been burned.
“We firmly believed that the office attached to the indoor university was set on fire deliberately to derail the legitimate and democratic agitation taken up by the students and teachers of the varsity”, said M. Dayaman, president Manipur University Student’s Union (MUSU).
A joint emergency meeting of the executive committee of Manipur Universtiy Teachers’ Association (MUTA), Manipur University Staff’s Association (MUSA) and MUSU was called on Sunday. During the meeting, members reported that they found empty petrol bottles near the stadium and the university guest house.
Debananda Ningthoujam, MUTA spokesperson, said that the three bodies strongly condemn the arson and that the movement is not only for the teacher and students community but also for the better future of the state.
“The time of negotiation is gone and the only solution will be removing the vice-chancellor, Adya Prasad Pandey,” Ningthoujam added. He appealed to all the stakeholders, CSOs, student bodies, NGOs and other local bodies of the state to support them in the agitation.