Hours after Manipur University appointed Y Yugindro Singh as interim vice chancellor, as many as 200 strong forces of police commandos carried out mock bomb attacks at the varsity campus Thursday midnight. According to reports, over 90 students and five faculty members have been taken into custody by Manipur police.
The major crackdown came on the heels of an ongoing protest, which brought day-to-day functioning of Manipur university to a halt. The 85-day agitation by MUSU, MUTA and MUSA had started back in June, demanding the removal of incumbent Vice-Chancellor AP Pandey, accused of several administrative and financial irregularities during his tenure.
With Pandey placed under suspension by the president, the university started functioning from August 23. The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) also constituted a fact-finding committee headed by former Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court to probe into allegations levelled against Pandey.
"Taking into account the volatile law and order situation in the campus, Pandey has been placed under suspension till the completion of the enquiry and action to be taken thereon in the interest of justice for free and fair enquiry or till further order," the order issued by the Ministry of HRD said.
However, resuming of duties by Pandey has further deteriorated the atmosphere of the university, forcing police to launch a midnight attack in the student and faculty quarters.
The midnight raid also witnessed firing in which several students have suffered injuries. The university students have slammed the attack by Manipur police, terming it undemocratic and shameful. The mock bomb attack also evoked condemnations from across several parties, including the Congress, who called it “a new facet of fascism”.
In wake of this huge clash between Manipur police and students, internet services have also been suspended in the northeastern state. Manipur Friday woke up to isolated streets with all business establishments, shops and transports remained closed across the state.