Kohima: About a thousand students, research scholars, teaching and non-teaching faculty of the Nagaland University Kohima campus on Wednesday strongly protested against the alleged threat to the pro-vice chancellor by a group of contractors at Meriema village.
The protest was jointly organized by the Kohima campus bodies of Nagaland University Students’ Union-Kohima Campus (NUSU-K), Nagaland University Non-Teaching Staff Association (NUNTSA-K), Nagaland University Teachers Association (NUTA) and Nagaland University Research Scholars Forum (NURSF).
According to Assistant Registrar of NU Kohima Campus and former NUNTSA president, Medo Chirhah told journalists that an incident happened on October 16 when the PVC was on his way to the university. “A group of people stopped him at the tri-junction and prevented him to cross their so-called land and warned him of dire consequences. So, the pro-vice chancellor (PVC) did not want to confront and returned home”.
According to Chirhah, the contractors were aggrieved that the PVC did not forward their bills with regard to the construction of roads that lead to the new engineering campus. Chirhah said that are procedures to release bills as a construction monitoring committee is in place to monitors and certify successful work completion. However, without this certification, he said that the PVC cannot approve the bill to be sent to the headquarters for further release of money.
Former PVC and HoD of history and archaeology, N Venuh said that following the incident, the four bodies decided to suspend all activities in the campus till the PVC is allowed in the campus. The bodies also wrote a letter the vice-chancellor at NU headquarters at Lumami, Zunheboto.
He cited the University rules which stated that the registrar of can write to non-teaching but to address issues concerning the students and teaching faculty, he said that it should come through the Vice-Chancellor (VC). Contrary to the rules, the registrar wrote a letter directing the resumption of activities in the campus.
Venuh said that the response was not serious. He informed that the letter cited an FIR that was registered and a fact-finding committee that was set up to address the issue. The letter, he said, was addressed to the PVC who in this case was the victim of the incident. The professor pointed out that a response should have been given to the aggrieved parties by the VC.
He termed this as negligence by the authorities of the University or a neglect of the Kohima campus. Venuh added that the recent incident was not a first. The university fraternity, in one way or the other, he said, has been facing harassment against them by a few local residents since it shifted to the permanent campus in 2010.
He informed that the university had also written to state government as land was given to the University. However, land-related issues, he said, continues to be a problem even after land was sold to the university.
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Professor Rosemary Dzüvichü, executive member of the Central Exective Council (CEC) NUTA, questioned what makes the fraternity of the Kohima campus a ‘second class’ citizen. She also questioned the absence of the vice-chancellor in Kohima when activities in the campus were halted after the incident.
Following the protest, the four bodies demanded a written apology from the “culprits” and condemned the negligence and lack of seriousness by the University authority. They also demanded the state government to ensure the safety of the fraternity of Nagaland University Kohima Campus.
A 48-hour ultimatum was also served to the fact-finding committee to present its report.
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