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Tuesday, 17 July 2018 - Imphal Times

MU impasse spread beyond complex; Students’ bodies, CSOs, Political Parties extend support DESAM Volunteers burns effigies of VC, CM, MHRD; staged protest rally

IT News

Imphal, July 17,

Various students’ bodies of the state as well as Civil society organisations have extended its support to the 48 hours bandh called by the Manipur University Students’ Union (MUSU) demanding removal of the VC Prof. AP Pandey, from  midnight today.

Representatives of the AMSU,MSF,KSA, SUK, DESAM and AIMS in a joint conference held today said that the students’ body is supporting everything it can to the agitation of the MUSU which is demanding the removal of the VC Prof. AP Pandey. It said the proposed bandh which is scheduled to start from midnight today will be supported by the students’ body and appealed all the people of the state to support the strike.

The Joint student body also vehemently condemned police brutalities to DESAM volunteers in front the Raj Bhavan and BJP Manipur Pradesh office.

Meanwhile , largest number of students volunteers belonging to Thoubal district DESAM branch today staged a protest rally in the middle of the Thoubal keithel by shouting slogans demanding removal of the VC AP Pandey.

The irate students also burn the effigies of the Chief Minister of Manipur N. Biren Singh, VC Professor AP Pandey and also Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadkar. 

The DESAM Volunteers after burning the effigy return back till the DC office shouting slogans demanding immediate removal of the VC Prof. Pandey.

DESAM, Thoubal District also demanded immediate punishment of the police officers responsible for manhandling of the student protestors in front of Raj Bhavan and BJP office. The students body set ultimatum saying that if those responsible are not punished on or before 12.30 noon tomorrow the DESAM Thoubal district will intensify the agitation.

Leader of the National Youth Congress Keshav Chand along with large number of supporters also staged a protest rally inside the complex of the Manipur University demanding dismissal of the VC Prof. AP Pandey. A meeting was also held extending support to the Manipur University Community.

Meanwhile, MUTA, MUSU and MUSA continue its relay hunger strike for the third day.


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EEVFAM stage protest demanding justice for fake encounter victim

IT News
Imphal, July 17,

Large number of women under the aegis of the Extra Judicial Execution Victim Families Association (EEVFAM) today staged a protest rally infront of the Office of the CBI Manipur branch at Lamphel demanding speedy investigation of the various fake encounter killing case in the state.
Banner carried by the protestors showed the then DGP of Manipur Yumanm Joykumar who is the deputy Chief Minister of Manipur, the then Chief Minister Okram Ibobi, who is now the opposition leader and then SP of Imphal West Police station. Written on the banner are Justice for the Victims , Punish the fake encounter specialist. Slogans demanding justice filled the air in front of the CBI office.
Mention may be made that a writ petition filed at the supreme court against the killing of  1528 cases had ordered investigation of some selected case to the CBI. The delayed in the process of investigation was put to the notice of the Supreme court and SC even warn the CBI on why the investigation should be delayed.
On the other hand former police commando constable Herojit’s revelation over the killing of Sanjit in cold blood under the order from his superior had given a turning point to the investigation and the EEVFAM questioned why those responsible are still not charge sheeted.

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YFPHR condemns police excess to students protestors; says police action to Sital Oinam is more like a life attempt

IT News
Imphal, July 17,

Youth’s Forum for Protection of Human Rights (YFPHR) shows serious concerns to police excess to students staging democratic protest.
The Forum while terming yesterday incident at which student leader of the DESAM Sital Oinam sustain serious injury including fracture at leg says that the action is not less than committing life attempt.
Yesterday’s incident is suspected to be done intentionally by pushing Mr. Sital Oinam, General Secretary DESAM mercilessly by the Police in front of the running truck which resulted in serious fracture and other injury, a statement of the Forum said.
“We further suspect that the action was carried out under the command of the concern Officer-in-Charge deployed to curb the mob and must be liable to be punished for committing a life attempt. We fear that the action of the police is a clear threat to the Students’ Organisation not to function by trying to eliminate the Student Leaders of the state”, the statement said and demands punishment of the Officer-in-Charge who is responsible for commanding to act in such a manner to harm an innocent student leader and other students who took part in yesterday’s protest in front of Raj Bhavan and state BJP office.
The Forum also expressed regret to the incompetency of the Manipur Police in controlling mob without the lady police and for using harsh action against the Students demanding for justice with regard to the ongoing Manipur University’s Turmoil.   
“We experienced in the past that the inhuman action by the police took the life of an innocent student namely Sapamcha Robinhood in the year 2015 demanding for ILP in the state. Yesterday’s incident is suspected to be done intentionally by pushing Mr. Sital Oinam, General Secretary DESAM mercilessly by the Police in front of the running truck which resulted in serious fracture and other injury”, the statement said.
 The way the police handle the students’ protest showed a clear indication that the police are not well trained on how to control the mob as Manipur Police have failed to control just a mob of 30-40 students, the statement said.
The statement added that the Forum have been demanding the Government of Manipur to trained properly of the Manipur Police Personnel on the crowd control or mob control, however, still failed to do so till date as a result many students were made severely injured even had claimed the life of innocent students in many of the standoff between the police and the students in the past.
“It seems the Police Personnel have forgotten their real duty to protect the civilians instead their duties turned out to protect only “Netas” and the bureaucrats which is very unfortunate”, the statement added.

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SLUCO on MU impasse

IT News

Imphal, July 17,

Singjamei to Lilong United Club’s Organisation while extending support called by the MUSU from midnight today question the Union government on why the government is still taking no action against the VC when it takes no time to replace a governor of the state.

The statement said that people residing at the surrounding of the Manipur University consider the agitation by the MU community as genuine and all support will be provided until peace is restored.

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Gauging ongoing Manipur University Impasse from the Precedent Cases of Removing Vice Chancellor

IT Desk.

Vice Chancellors of the University are appointed through a process which starts with the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry setting up a search-cum-selection committee to scrutinize applications and invite candidates for an interview. The committee then submits a panel of finalists (usually 3-4) to the Ministry, which forwards it to the President. The President selects one person from the list, after which appointment orders are formally issued. There are, however, no established provisions to sack the Vice Chancellor (VC) of a central university.  The Central Universities Act, 2009, says that as the Visitor, the President “may, from time to time, appoint one or more persons to review the work and progress of the University”. The Central Universities Act of 2009, empowers the HRD Ministry to fire VC s on grounds of incapacity, misconduct or violation of statutory provisions. The President of India, who is the Visitor to the Central universities, can invoke Section 16 of the General Clause Act to remove a VC. Section 16 empowers the appointing authority - under any central Act or regulation - to “suspend or dismiss any person appointed”.
1. Visva-Bharati University: When, on 15 February 2016, the President, who is the Visitor of all central universities, approved the dismissal of Prof. Sushanta Dattagupta from the post of Vice Chancellorship of Visva Bharati, it happened for the first time that the head of a central university has been sacked. The following day the HRD Ministry issued a three-page order removing him. HRD Ministry is now expected to once again recommend the VC’s sacking to the President. Dattagupta, at the time of his dismissal, still has nearly eight months left in his term. He also had the earlier cases of sexual harassment against him. There also have been rumblings in academic circles against Professor Duttagupta in the past. He has been accused of making illegal appointments including the appointment of the Controller of Examinations despite having no powers to do so and sanctioning key posts in violation of the Visva-Bharti, drawing pension from Jawaharlal Nehru University along with his salary from Visva-Bharati without getting it deducted from his pay and getting his liquor bills reimbursed by the varsity. All these are statedly in violation of University Act. He had denied the allegation saying it as a malicious campaign against him by a section of disgruntled university employees. He was given 21 days to explain his position before the Union HRD Ministry contemplates further action against him
The three-member panel headed by a former judge of Allahabad High Court, took cognizance of several enquiries and complaints against Dattagupta including alleged misappropriation of funds. The HRD Ministry had then recommended Dattagupta’s sacking on grounds of gross misconduct and dereliction of duty in its final report to the President of India.
The probe found him guilty, and a show cause notice was served in June. Unsatisfied with his reply, the Ministry recommended his removal to the President on September 21, 2015, on the following grounds:
* That he continued to draw a basic salary of Rs 80,000 per month from Visva Bharati along with a pension of Rs 17,596 every month from Jawaharlal Nehru University without getting his pension deducted from his pay, in violation of rules.
* That he made irregular/illegal appointments, with the appointees in most cases failing to meet eligibility criteria prescribed by the University Grants Commission.
* That he approved payment of Rs 5 lakh as honorarium to an enquiry officer even though the government has fixed a ceiling of Rs 75,000 for a departmental inquiry.
* That he got personal bills for alcoholic beverages reimbursed by the university during his stay at the India International Centre in New Delhi during August-September 2012, which is a “serious case of financial impropriety”.
The sources said, the President wants the ministry to accept the resignation and has informally conveyed its unwillingness to sack Dattagupta, which the government wasn’t keen on doing so as it would absolve Dattagupta of all the allegations. The delay in acting against Dattagupta seemed to have made students and faculty of the university in Visva-Bharati restless. About 20 intellectuals and professors, including Rajya Sabha member D Bandhyopadhyay, wrote to the President and the Prime Minister, urging them to act quickly on this matter. HRD ministry then had sent the file to the President recommending dismissal of Dattagupta. According to sources in Rashtrapati Bhavan, the HRD Ministry followed “due process” in its probe against Dattagupta and that the VC was given a fair chance to present his defence against the allegations. Rashtrapati Bhavan, however, returned the file asking the government to clarify if the proposed removal was legally tenable and, also, whether the VC should be sacked without a chance to present his case in person. The Attorney General, in his opinion, clarified that the President can grant Dattagupta a personal hearing, although the latter has already had a chance to present his defence in writing to the government. He had challenged the legality of the fact-finding committee instituted against him by the government. After his plea was shot down by the Calcutta High Court, he had e-mailed his resignation to Rashtrapati Bhavan on September 30, 2015. Accepting the Ministry of HRD’s recommendation, President of India, Pranab Mukherjee on Monday removed Sushanta Duttagupta from the post of Visva-Bharati University’s Vice-Chancellor (VC) on 15 February 2016.
2. Pondicherry University: The President of India gave his approval to HRD ministry’s recommendation to sack Pondicherry University Vice Chancellor Chandra Krishnamurthy, facing allegations of plagiarism and misrepresentation. Pondicherry University VC Chandra Krishnamurthy had been issued a show cause notice after a UGC committee found her guilty of plagiarism and misrepresentation. She took charge on February 1, 2013 for a five-year term. On August 2015, she was served the show cause notice asking her to explain why she should not be dismissed. However, the VC had challenged the “procedural fairness” in issue of the notice, but after a court verdict found nothing wrong in it, she replied to it earlier this year. Her reply was studied by the ministry which had then sent a report to the President recommending sacking her. She had also tendered her resignation last month. This is the second instance when HRD ministry has pushed for dismissal of vice chancellor of a central university. Earlier this year, it had dismissed VisvaBharati vice chancellor SushantaDattagupta, who faced allegations of financial and administrative irregularities.
3. Garhwal University: After Sushanta Dattagupta of Visva-Bharati University and Chandra Krishnamurthy of Pondicherry University, Kaul was the third Vice Chancellor dismissed by the incumbent government. President Ram NathKovind is learnt to have approved the sacking of the Vice Chancellor (VC) of Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal (HNBG) University, Jawaharlal Kaul, for alleged administrative However, this is the first instance of the NDA-II government going after its own appointee in a central university. Kaul was appointed in November 2014, when Smriti Irani was HRD Minister. He had little less than two years left in office by the time he was removed. As first reported by The Indian Express on 21 November 2015, HRD Ministry had forwarded a proposal to sack Kaul and justified it on two counts. First, he allegedly allowed colleges to increase intake in some courses to 200 seats, even though university rules permit only 60 seats in each programme and 80 in exceptional cases. Second, he took a decision to charge a college affiliation fee lower than the prescribed amount. Kaul was served a show cause notice in February 2016 year based on conclusions of a two-member fact-finding committee set up to probe complaints from the Central Vigilance Commission last year, alleging administrative mismanagement. He was given three weeks to present his defense regarding five allegations, including the charge of approving backdated affiliation to a few teacher training institutes. The notice also accused him of allowing the university to declare examination results of some private institutes when the status of their affiliation to the university was under the scanner. Kaul’s defense against allegations of allowing colleges to increase seats above the permitted limit and undercharging affiliation fee was found unsatisfactory by the ministry and, hence, shown as grounds for sacking.
In the case of Manipur University also, the allegations labeled against the incumbent Vice Chancellor are of serious and grave nature which merit thorough probe by a competent independent body headed by a retired Judge of a High Court. One glaring example of the unwanted outcome of his perennial outstationed holidaying which so far has not come out prominently is the cancellation and abandoning of the first ever post graduate examination of Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Sciences (JNIMS) for Pathology and Microbiology held on 08 May this year. Regarding this, JNIMS authority wrote to the Manipur University Administration in January informing that informing that post graduate examinations would be held and ensures that one Medical Council of India (MCI) is deputed for the same. The University took three long months to send the JNIMS authority’s letter to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare along with the final examination schedule on 14 April. The documents sent by the Manipur University reportedly reached the Ministry on 27 April. If better sense prevails, his honorable exit and saner option would be resignation.

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Is the State Govt. underestimating the MU Community?

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh’s government three point proposal submitted to the Union Minister of Human Resource and development failed to cool down the anger of the Manipur University community. A high level committee to look into the allegations against the Vice Chancellor fails to explain on whether the Manipur government understand the demand of the University community or underestimated the intellectual wisdom of those in the highest academic institution in the state. Except putting a demand for a high level enquiry committee the memorandum submitted by the government did not mention the exact definition of the so called High Level Committee they are referring.
July 12, the MHRD had ordered to constitute a fact finding committee to enquire into the allegations against the Vice Chancellor which comprises of two members – 1) JK Tripathi , Joint Secretary UGC and 2) Surat Singh , Deputy Secretary Central University Division MHRD. Perhaps it is hard to find the differences of a High Level Committee and the Fact Finding Committee constituted by the MHRD.
Point number 2 that the state government proposed is to direct the Vice Chancellor to proceed on leave and third to appoint one Pro VC during the enquiry.
The memorandum that the state government submitted to the MHRD showed the timidity character of the state government. Instead of urging points that is required the state government simply requested which the MHRD may accept but will the acceptance to the proposal be accepted by the Manipur University Community and also by the people of the state.
The state government need to understand that - from inside the Manipur University Complex the issue now has cross beyond the complex. College students which have been affected due to the negligence from the part of the government had called total shut down to all colleges affiliated to the Manipur University. Students’ body started street protest by even thronging to the Raj Bhavan and also the office of the BJP which is heading the state government.
Remember, the simmering democratic protest of 2015 demanding ILPS in the state was converted into a violent protest after the death of Sapam Robinhood in Police Action.
July 7 protest by the College students in front of the Chief Minister’s bungalow here in Imphal which was similar with the kind of protest by the AISF at MHRD gate at New Delhi were treated like animals by the police deployed when the Police at New Delhi prevented using force. Some injured.
Yesterday’s protest by DESAM was also democratic and police committed extreme excess that a student leader Oinam Sital nearly got killed after he was pushed by a police man to a running heavy vehicles. It was miracle that the student leaders sustain only some fracture at hands and legs. Some other students were also injured in police action. Had the student died Manipur today would have been different as the anger of the people would go out of hand.
Now, unable to tolerate the ignorance to the demand of the Manipur University Community as well as police brutalities towards the students, MUSU seemed to be left with no choice but to called a 48 hours general strike. People of the state were fed up of Bandh and Blockade and criticism always pour when any organisations called bandh or blockade. The miseries were well experience and almost every people of the state have started saying no to bandh. But this 48 hours bandh called by the MUSU is being supported openly by many organisations both from the students’ Community as well as from the civil society organisation.
For reason best known to the Chief Minister almost all the BJP MLAs, Ministers and Party workers including former President of the BJP Manipur Pradesh are camping at New Delhi and are appraising the Central Ministry to resolve the multiple issues plaguing the state.
Among other issues what the Chief Minister of Manipur should consider most urgent is the issue of Manipur University which is being created by a one man called AP Pandey. Who is Prof. AP Pandey why is he getting so much protection by the MHRD? How could he fool the Manipur government by showing a demand letter from UG and connecting it to the present uprising by the Manipur University Community? Why and for what reason Chief Minister N. Biren simply cannot put pressure in a manly way to take the person who is ruining the whole student population of the state? A matter need to ponder.

Roasting Manipur : The Context and Structural Violence

By: JN Lai (Asst. Prof, International College, the University of Suwon, S Korea)

When the mighty Himalayas leaving his snow-white height going down for the deep green of Southeast Asia, there trapped a hilly terrain with a tiny valley in the middle stressing north-south. Over the centuries, she was having changing names Meckley, Meitrapak, Kangleipak with changing boundaries enlarging up to 72,000 sq km between the Brahmaputra and the Chindwin River. She has been known as Manipur shrinking to 22,327 sq km, and been a controversial part of India since 1949. She is bigger than East Timor and smaller than Rwanda. There are about 40 ethnic peoples whose culture reflects ending tail of South Asia and beginning head of South East Asia. Showing a hybrid display in Indo-Myanmar region.
Uniqueness adorns Manipur in its own way. The multiethnic peoples, compounded problems are all sucked into this small landlocked geography. The historical memory of the socio-cultural turmoil of Hindunisation is not able to evaporate so soon and the gone days of Annexation by India is still posing an unsettling political hiccup. The present experience is becoming a staggering predicament of the past stumble.
Present BJP power perhaps condescends that the world’s longest political hunger strike happened here. The game of Polo was born here. One of the earliest universal suffrages in Asia too was practiced here. This is one of the biodiversity hotspots of the planet, the abode of the natural resources and the power house of sports in the Indian subcontinent.
For decades Manipur has been witnessing multi-faceted conflict. The silent war between Political Armed Organizations (PAO) and the Government of India (GoI), and inter-ethnic conflict among the Meetei, Naga, Kuki, non-Naga, non-Kuki, Pangal (Muslim) have brought violence and human rights noise. As a result, thousands of lives have lost, many more have been undergoing pain and trauma, and communities have been living with fear and distrust.
The violence and tension are seen in a landscape where Hinduisation drew a thick and sticky backdrop, haunted by the issues of the Controversial Manipur Merger to India, Militarization under an Extraordinary Armed Forces Legislation, and Hills-valley Dichotomy. They have imprinted their own roots in the socio-political-economic layout by displaying fractured justice, broken peace and twisted human rights. They are sources of fear and conflict for the communities in the region. They are the structural violence of Manipur that have deprived the rights of indigenous peoples in terms of safety, respect, participation, economy, identity and culture.
On 23 September 1969 when Indira Gandhi visited Imphal she said in her public speech, “You must behave like a civilized people. You must behave like people who know how to handle the affairs of their city and their state.” Her speech was criticized in December publication, 1969, The Lamyanba, for affronting peoples of Manipur. Because she ignored the real uncivilized Indians who broke her head in the previous election. In various Indians cities there had been violent clashes between students and police, and Siva Sena burnt houses, vandalized properties, she thought her Indians were civilized. Whereas Manipuris who were living harmoniously with outsiders and did not show any violent acts upon her visit to Imphal, she called uncivilized. The Lamyanba questioned - the ruthlessness of Indira Gandhi in addressing Manipur as something do not know how to handle affairs of city and state, ignoring the fact that Manipur had been an independent sovereign state for centuries before her India dismantled it suddenly.
In the following decades, leaders from the New Delhi have been singing Manipur and Manipuris as a rich heritage, rich arts and culture, peace loving peoples, with a heavy tone of need of militarization, a concern for insurgency, law and order situation. One interesting fact that contradicting the reality is the comments come out as posthumous responses from the retiring military officers. In most of the media briefings, the moment they are leaving Manipur, they opine “Military is not the solution to Manipur problem.”
One similar example is of the former Union Home Secretary to the Government of India, Gopal Krishna Pillai articulated strangely. In his talk at the Internal Security Lecture Series organised by Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA), YouTube video Published on 6 Feb 2012 underlined that, thousands year old ancient kingdom of Manipur was forced to diminish to a mere Part C State of the Dominion of India overnight. In the illegal process of Merger that was carried out by the then Dominion Government of India had definitely made serious mistakes, for which he very boldly made a call for the Prime Minister or the Home Minister of India to apologise for the past mistakes that had been so dictatorially executed.
For a holistic approach to the structural violence and multiple challenges of Manipur, we should not forget the Action, Behavior and Context or ABC.  So, for example, the border pillar and other crisis are just AB not the Context C. Instead of addressing fundamental root causes, New Delhi, this time, BharatiyaJanata Party merely plays multiple repressive cards as usual. BJP does diluteand divert crucial issues of Manipur whereas state government displays the most submissive diplomatic treatmentupon them so far. Knowingly and unknowingly N. Biren has screwed up his responseto the people of Manipur and the corridors of power in Delhias well. Now he is getting the heat which some of them are really unbearable – Naga framework and border pillar conspiracy though the ongoing academic crisis and the demand for protection indigenous peoples’ land and rights are somehow manageable.

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