The High Court of Manipur on Friday said that it may be compelled to intervene in the affairs and management of the Manipur University (MU) if the authority concerned fails to resolve the ongoing crisis. “We feel that the prolonged disruption and crisis in the university is not in public interest. Hence, failing to resolve the crisis by the authorities concerned, we may not have other alternative but to interfere in the affairs and management of the university which we would not have done otherwise and we also hope not to”, observed the court.
The High Court (HC) on Monday had directed the respondents of the PILs which include Manipur government, HRD ministry and MU authority to submit their suggestions to resolve the crisis by October 5. Two separate PILs were filed by a journalist and a social activist on Monday seeking an order from the court for bringing an amicable solution over the MU crisis. While the matter was heard today, the respondents failed to follow the directive of the HC.
“We have refrained from passing any order directly interfering with the management of the university so far, in the hope and expectation that the authorities concerned, who are primarily responsible to manage the affairs would come out with certain feasible and practical solution to the problem. Unfortunately, though this court had urged the authorities concerned to submit their suggestion today, nothing is forthcoming. What we can say is that it is very unfortunate, as the authorities ought to show more sense of urgency in resolving the problem as continuing this crisis would invite more problems”, said the court order.
Directing that the present crisis should not have cascading effect on the other parts of the state, it once again ordered the respondents to either to work out a solution on their own by the next date and if not, at least submit their suggestions to enable the court to issue an appropriate order in the matter.
On Thursday, a joint tribal student bodies has called for five days economic blockade on the highways of Manipur starting from 5 am of October 9, demanding normalcy in MU campus.
The tribal bodies comprising of Kuki Student’s Union (KSO), All Tribal Students Union Manipur (ATSUM) and All Naga Students’ Union Manipur (ANSAM), also resolved to demand separate Hill Central University denouncing the alleged premeditated holding of thousands of students’ career to ransom.
Earlier, the HC also rejected the PIL filed by the incumbent vice-chancellor of MU, Prof AP Pandey, to stay the Memorandum of Agreement signed between the HRD ministry, MU community and Manipur Government on August 16.
The signing of the MoA had brought an end to the 85 days long shutdown in the MU campus which is a result of the protest of the Manipur University Students’ Union (MUSU) demanding the removal of AP Pandey. While the MUSU alleged Pandey of administrative and financial irregularities, the latter refuted the charges as baseless.
The normalcy in the MU campus was once again disrupted following a midnight raid inside the campus resulting in the arrest of over 90 students on September 20. Altogether 13 students and teachers are lodged in jail after the arrest which was an outcome of an FIR filed by the new pro-vice-chancellor.
In the aftermath of the September 20 raid, the campus once again came to a grinding halt, postponing the postgraduate examinations and also delaying declaration of semester examinations, admissions.