Manipur: Students protest against show cause notice issues to MU Prof
Students protesting in Manipur University

Imphal: Reacting to the show cause notice served to Dr N Sanatomba Singh of Manipur University over the remarks made against the state government on legalisation of alcohol, hundreds of Manipur University students staged a protest and stormed the Registrar’s office on Friday.

Shocking scenes emerged from the University campus as hundreds of students stormed the administrative block to protest the show cause notice to Dr Sanatomba, an assistant professor in the Manipuri department, over his “anti-government remarks” during a debate competition.

Several armed security personnel were rushed to the spot to restore peace even as students were seen having an angry confrontation with the university administration officials.

Also Read | Manipur: MU goes after professor who spoke for alcohol ban in debate

According to the show cause notice issued by Manipur University Registrar Prof W Chandbabu Singh dated September 27, Dr Sanatomba delivered a speech during the debate competition that criticised the state government with regard to tourism, legalisation of liquor and various other sensitive issues.

The debate was organised by Manipur University Students’ Union (MUSU) on September 25 at the conference hall of the Manipur Institute of Management Studies, Manipur University.

During his speech, Dr Sanatomba had said, “Over 70 to 80 percent of people consuming alcohol in the state are either addicted or from the poorer section of the society. So, for alcoholic persons, the quality of alcohol will not make any difference. However, for poorer section of the society, it is always a burden whether it is legal to drink or banned in the state.”

Dr Sanatomba had also compared Manipur with other states that have taken up initiatives aimed at eradicating drugs and alcohol and lamented that the Manipur government lifted the prohibition on sale and consumption of liquor “to earn Rs 600-800 crore per annum”.

He also lamented the failure of the government to come up with proper mechanism for creating job opportunities in the state.

MU Registrar W Chandbabu Singh told EastMojo said that the decision was taken during the Deans’ Committee meeting, which discussed Dr Sanatomba’s speech during the debate competition, and concluded that the same violated the rules under Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964.

“Such speech made by him in the public platform that went viral on social media has tarnished the image of the University, which prima facie appears to be highly derogatory and defamatory,” stated the notice.

Dr Sanatomba has now been asked to explain his speech in writing within seven days from the date of receipt of the show cause notice and explain why disciplinary action as deemed fit should not be taken against him.

“We will decide the further course of action after a meeting with the vice-chancellor once the committee receives the written explanatory note from Dr Sanatomba,” said the Registrar.

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