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MU community threatens to restart protest as Professor A P Pandey resumes office

As a counter to the ‘violation’ of the agreement signed between Manipur University’s (MU) Vice Chancellor Professor A P Pandey and HRD Ministry, the university community on Sunday threatened to resume shutdown strike. The MU community had suspended the strike in August, however, it issued a warning in case the authority failed to take action. September 4 has been served as the deadline to fulfill the demand.

The warning was issued a day after the incumbent vice-chancellor of MU submitted his joining letter to the registrar of the varsity. Prof Pandey was sent on leave for 30 days pending an independent inquiry.

In the letter which went viral on social media, Pandey informed the varsity that he has resumed his duty with immediate effect from Saturday. A copy of it was reportedly received by the registrar through e-mail.

Moreover, Prof. Pandey, Sunday issued an order banning the Manipur University Teachers’ Association (MUTA) and Manipur University Staffs’ Association (MUSA) from campus terming their existence against MU Act 2005. “MUTA and MUSA are found to be directly involved in subversive activities leading to the current turmoil and creation of indiscipline in the University campus, violating the provision of MU Act”, the order said.

The letter stated that it had become inevitable to curb the activities of both MUTA and MUSA to bring the University campus to order and maintain discipline. Prohibiting the two bodies from holding any meeting, it warned employees of the varsity of disciplinary action if found indulging in such activities.

Pandey’s move is a total violation to the agreement signed between the Manipur University community and Ministry of HRD on August 16 in the presence of Chief Minister of Manipur that ended the 85 days long shutdown strike of the varsity, said Ng. Nimai, spokesperson MUTA.

He said MU community has expressed their displeasure over the ‘non-academic behaviour’ of Prof. AP Pandey, at a time when normalcy is soon being restored in the varsity due to committed hard work of the community members. “We urged the visitor of the varsity, the chief vector etc to take appropriate action against Prof. Pandey”, he said.

As per the agreement, Pandey will be on leave during the inquiry period and until follow up action is taken. The Ministry granted him leave for 30 days from August 2.

The Ministry also constituted an independent two-member committee headed by a former acting Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court, T. Nandakumar and M.K Choudhary, former vice-chancellor of Tezpur University, to probe allegation level against Pandey. The inquiry is slated to commence on September 6.

After the agreement was approved by the Union HRD Minister, the MU community suspended its agitation on August 22 and normal classes resumed in the campus the following day. While the MU community alleged Prof. AP Pandey of committing financial and administrative irregularities, the latter refuted the allegations as baseless.


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