Manipur University: HC suspends pro V-C, registrar amidst fresh tension

Manipur HC appointed the former chief secretary of Manipur, Jarnail Singh, as an administrator to discharge the function of the vice-chancellor of the varsity.

Written by Jimmy Leivon | Imphal | Updated: October 12, 2018 12:19:30 am
The court has requested Jarnail Singh to immediately take charge and also directed the state government to provide the necessary security.

Manipur High Court on Thursday suspended pro vice-chancellor of Manipur University Prof. K. Yugindro and appointed the former chief secretary of Manipur, Jarnail Singh, as an administrator to discharge the function of the vice-chancellor of the varsity.

An order passed by the division bench of the High Court of Manipur said, “We have given our anxious thought and consideration over the matter and volatile and often violent situation continuing in Manipur University and considering the best interest of the students and very disturbing situation prevailing, we have reluctantly opted to intervene in the matter by issuing the following directions”.

The former chief secretary of Manipur, Jarnail Singh, is fully empowered to discharge the functions of the vice-chancellor as provided under the Manipur University Act, 2005 and his primary duty and responsibility is to bring normalcy in Manipur University, the court order said.

Singh, who had also served as joint secretary to the office of the Prime Minister, was awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration for the year 2007. He had also been the Chief Secretary of Manipur from 2004 to 2008.

Directing that the appointment orders of Shyamo Singh registrar in-charge and W. Vishwanath Singh vice chancellor in-charge be suspended, the order also urges the Visitor of the varsity and union respondents to ensure that the suspension order of incumbent vice-chancellor of MU Prof. Adya Prasad Pandey, is continued and not revoked during the continuation of the office of the court-appointed administrator.

Read | We may intervene in Manipur University crisis, if not resolved soon: High Court

In the last hearing, the court had cautioned the respondent (authorities) and all the stakeholders that in absence of any resolution to the crises it (court) may be compelled to intervene while expressing serious concern on the continuing stalemate and violence.

Against this backdrop, on Wednesday, 17 students were detained by the Manipur police after a confrontation with the student demonstrators inside Manipur University campus who were demanding the release of those (students and teachers) lodged in jail for alleged manhandling of two professors including K. Yugindro.

Read | Fresh tension erupts at Manipur University as police arrest 17 students

“The academic routine has been literally thrown out of gear. The crisis remains unresolved and has worsened with increasing violent incidents. Chaos reigns now”, said the division bench.

The court has requested Singh to immediately take charge and also directed the state government to provide the necessary security.

On August 23, normalcy returned to the campus after witnessing 85 days of total shutdown of the campus due to the protest launched by Manipur University Students’ Union (MUSU).

MUSU was demanding the removal of incumbent vice-chancellor of Manipur University Prof. Adya Prasad Pandey, alleging him of committing financial and administrative irregularities. The allegations were denied by Prof. Pandey.

However, normalcy in the campus was once again disrupted due to renewed students protest after police conducted a midnight raid inside the campus and arresting over 90 students and faculties on September 20. Of the total arrested, 15 are lodged in jail. Post-graduation examinations have been postponed besides delay in the declaration of semester examinations.

The raid was followed after the pro vice-chancellor K. Yugindro lodged a complaint against the students and teacher of alleged manhandling when he came to join duty on September 20. The students have been demanding the unconditional release of arrested teachers and students aftermath of the midnight raid.

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