Manipur varsity community to suspend strike

Pothashang News Service: Imphal, August 16, 2018: Manipur University community has decided to suspend it varsity shutdown strike following agreement brought with Manipur government to constitute an independent enquiry committee to inquire over allegations of irregularities to vice-chancellor Adya Prasad Pandey.

The decision came following a meeting between the government and varsity community on three consecutive days till Thursday. The ongoing agitation shall be temporarily suspended after the issue of official orders, as per the mutually reached understanding, in the interest of the public in general and the students in particular, resolved the meeting.

Manipur University has been paralysed since May 30, the day the varsity students launched agitation demanding ouster of the vice-chancellor. The students alleged Pandey for financial and administrative irregularities. He was also alleged of avoiding varsity community concerning suggestions for the varsity welfare. Intensifying its agitation the students launched total shut down strike on July 6 which has impacted the colleges attached to the university. Later the teachers and staffs of the varsity joined the strike.

The meeting participated by Manipur University Students’ Union (MUSU), Manipur University Staffs’ Association (MUSA) and Manipur University Teachers’ Association (MUTA) on one side and G.C. Hosur, joint secretary, HRD ministry on the other in the presence of Manipur chief minister N. Biren Singh, education minister Th. Radheshyam, health minister L. Jayantakumar, revenue minister Karam Shyam, chief secretary Suresh Babu, commissioner (Higher and Technical Education), Deleep Singh, held discussed on the issues relating to the ongoing agitation of the varsity community demanding removal of the Pandey. It resolved that the Fact Finding Committee will now be reconstituted as an Independent Two Member Enquiry Committee Chaired by T. Nandakumar Singh, former Acting Chief Justice, High Court of Meghalaya.

The committee was to be headed by Nandakumar, with UGC joint secretary J.K. Tripathi and deputy secretary, department of higher education, HRD ministry, Surat Singh.

The two official members in the existing fact finding committee will be replaced by a retired vice-chancellor of a university who is mutually acceptable to the parties concerned, as resolved in the meeting.

It was also resolved that the relevant order for the reconstitution of the fact finding committee as an independent enquiry committee shall be issued on or before August 17.

The meetings also agreed that during the period of inquiry and until follow up action taken on the inquiry report by the competent authority preferably within a period of 15 days Prof A.P Pandey will be on leave.

The copies of enquiry report will be made available to MUSU, MUTA and MUSA. The registrar shall be the Nodal officer for the enquiry committee, resolved the meeting.

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