Cops fire tear gas shells, mock bombs; those arrested include teachers, hostel wardens, students; several hurt; mobile Internet services suspended
Imphal: Just a couple of days after the suspension of a long-standing strike called by the Manipur University Students’ Union (MUSU), the police barged into the campus and arrested more than 90 people, including teachers, hostel wardens and students, on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday.
The latest development comes after pro vice-chancellor Y Yugindro Singh entered the university campus to take charge as the vice-chancellor (V-C) on Thursday afternoon. The current V-C, AP Pandey, is on leave.
Sources said around 200 security personnel entered the campus at midnight and started looking for those who took part in the recent protests. The police then fired tear gas shells and mock bombs. Several students were hurt in the process.
Fearing arbitrary arrests, teachers and students started running helter-skelter, hiding in parks, faculty quarters and even nearby lanes. The police kept the hostel under ‘guard’ and conducted search operations throughout the night.
The police paraded the students from hostels at midnight and identified those who protested during the 60-day long strike called by the Manipur Students’ Union (MUSA), Manipur University Teachers’ Association (MUTA), and Manipur University Staff Association (MUTA) recently.
The organisations were protesting against the V-C Pandey, demanding his removal. The MUSA had launched its protest on May 30 alleging the V-C of irregularities and of misusing his administrative and financial powers.
Later, the teachers’ body and staff association also joined the protest and almost all deans and heads of departments resigned in protest. The teachers’ resignations had almost brought the university to a grinding halt.