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IMPHAL | Sept 22 : North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS) activists today held protests across the country against the brutal crackdown on students and teachers at Manipur University.
The protests were held at Delhi, Chandigarh, Assam and Hyderabad and witnessed large participation from other progressive organizations and common students, said a release signed by member, Convening Committee, NEFIS.
At Delhi, Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS) activists took part in the protest expressing their solidarity, and at Chandigarh, members of Manipur Students’ Association Chandigarh (MSAC) participated in the protest. An effigy of N. Biren Singh was also burnt for his collusion with union BJP government in curbing students-teachers’ movement, it said.
It should be known that Manipur police personnel had entered the university campus in the intervening night of September 20 of September 21, the release stated while adding that the police personnel barged into the boys’ hostels, paraded male students and brutally assaulted them.
Later, when teachers staying inside the campus sought to intervene, tear gas shells were fired upon them. At the time of writing of this press release, it was reported that 89 students and six teachers were under illegal detention. Also, 55 students are reportedly missing since the raids in the hostels, it said.
The extent of brutality can be guessed by the fact that tear gas shells and rubber bullets were fired at students inside the boys' hostel located in the campus. Even those brutally injured in the crackdown are being illegally detained and not being allowed to exit MU campus. Members of the students’ union and those teachers and common students, who were in the forefront of the 85-day long agitation demanding the removal of VC, A.P. Pandey, were specifically targeted, the release added.
Stating that the VC was sent on leave following the students’ steadfast agitation, before he forcefully resumed office in September and later forced to proceed on leave pending an inquiry against his irregularities, the release also asserted that the VC had appointed Y. Yugindro Singh as pro VC, who is reportedly close to him and the crackdown has been executed at his behest with the active support of Manipur government.
The release further alleged that the BJP government is infamous for its undemocratic and anti-social mentality and is out to terrorise progressive students and teachers in universities. Manipur University is among those university campuses, which have been specifically targeted due to the students’ and teachers’ indomitable struggle against the anti-people policies of BJP government at the centre and its stooges who have been appointed as heads at various public institutions, it added.
While condemning the recent developments at Manipur University, NEFIS also demanded the unconditional release of all the students and teachers who are detained. The state government should take action against the police officers and personnel who were involved in the raid and violence, it said.