Manipur University students and teachers begin relay hunger strike, seek removal of V-C Adya Prasad Pandey
Since 30 May the Manipur University Students' and Teachers' union are holding sit-in protests and rallies in the campus demanding the removal of the vice chancellor
Imphal: Post graduate students and teachers of Manipur University today started a relay hunger strike at the gate of the varsity campus demanding the removal of vice chancellor Prof Adya Prasad Pandey, as the impasse in the university entered its 40th day.
The hunger strike was started after a series of sit-in protests and rallies by the students and teachers.
"The hunger strike will continue till 24 July," Manipur University Teachers' Association (MUTA) Spokesperson Prof M Ranjit said.
Since 30 May the Manipur University Students' Union (MUSU) and MUTA are holding sit-in protests and rallies in the campus demanding the removal of the vice chancellor alleging that Pandey has failed to fill up key posts in the university, indulging in contract works, irregular in attending office and spending lavishly on tours outside the state at the expense of the university.
Pandey had earlier denied all these charges leveled against him.
"Six Deans and five head of departments have already resigned during the course of the agitation," the MUTA said.
On the question of postponing of 6th semester examination of the MA students and delay in declaration of 3rd and 4th semester of college students, Prof Ranjit said that the teaching community is very much concerned over the delay and appealed to the state government to intervene at the earliest to save the career of the students.
Ranjit said that if the vice chancellor is removed, the teaching community along with the staff of the university will instantly take up the process to conduct the exam and declare the results of all pending examination.
Meanwhile, a press statement released on Sunday by the office of the Public Relations Officers (PRO) of Manipur University said that all forms of agitation within the university campus be stopped as it infringes the code of conduct of the university's ordinance and asked the protesters to "refrain from unlawful acts".
The release created 'controversy' as the university does not have PRO at the moment and the release was not signed by any individual.
MUTA remarked that the vice chancellor has "no authority to issue such regulatory statements to the press."
MUTA President I Tomba Singh said that issuing of press statement under the office of PRO when the University itself has no PRO amounts to "continuation of indulging in false fabrication" by Pandey to "mislead" the public.
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