Manipur varsity row: Former chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh slams V-C AP Pandey's order to ban two associations

Imphal: Taking a dig at Manipur University Vice-Chancellor AP Pandey, who ordered a ban on two associations at the institute, former Manipur chief minister O Ibobi Singh sought to know Monday if the HRD ministry was consulted before the issuance of the notification.

 Manipur varsity row: Former chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh slams V-C AP Pandeys order to ban two associations

File image of former Manipur CM Okram Ibobi Singh. Reuters

The senior Congress leader also asked Pandey to clarify if he has received orders to rejoin office as vice chancellor on 1 September. Pandey, who was sent on leave on 2 August over allegations of irregularities, issued a notice Saturday to announce that he has resumed his charges. In the statement, he also said that "Manipur University Teachers Association (MUTA) and Manipur University Staff Association (MUSA) were hereby being banned with immediate effect as the Manipur University Act 2005 does not have provisions for existence of employees' bodies".

The students, teachers and staff members, who had been demanding the VC's removal for over three months now over alleged financial and administrative irregularities, threatened to intensify their protests Sunday if action was not taken against him. The agitators had called off their 85-day-long agitation on 23 August after signing an agreement with the HRD ministry, which formed a fact-finding committee last month to look into their allegations. The state government, too, had requested the agitators on several occasions to have faith in the HRD committee.

Ibobi told reporters on Monday that both the state and the central governments have made a "mockery of the issue". "When the institute was made a central university during the UPA rule, the then prime minister Manmohan Singh and former Congress president Sonia Gandhi assured the state that every burden will be borne by the Centre," he said.

In a related development, Assistant Registrar H Tonsin Marring wrote to Manipur DGP Sunday, asking him to ensure that no untoward incident takes place at the institute or its vicinity in view of the fresh threats issued by the agitators. Academic activities resumed at Manipur university on 24 August, following the suspension of the strike which lasted for almost three months.

In a statement, the protesters said Sunday that they would not allow Pandey to enter the university and claimed that the notification issued by him was "null and void". No state government official, however, could be contacted for their reaction on the matter.

Updated Date: Sep 04, 2018 07:35:39 IST