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MU crisis: Agitators accuse HRD of violating agreement

Correspondent IMPHAL, Aug 18 | Publish Date: 8/18/2018 12:08:25 PM IST

Agitating MUSU, MUTA and MUSA Saturday hinted at continuing its agitation even after signing a memorandum of agreement with the Union ministry of human resource development ministry.

In a joint statement, MUSU, MUTA and MUSA have alleged the Union ministry of human resource development of violating the agreement which was signed on August 16.

Earlier in the day, Union ministry of human resource development (HRD) issued an order reconstituting the fact finding committee as per the agreement reached on August 16 after three days of hectic parley between representatives of MU fraternity and officials of HRD in the presence of Manipur chief minister.

The order reconstituted the fact finding committee of three members by a two-member enquiry committee to enquire into the allegations made against vice chancellor Prof AP Pandey. Retired acting chief justice of Meghalaya High Court, T Nandakumar is still the chairman of the re-constituted enquiry committee and retired vice chancellor of Tezpur University (of Assam) MK Choudhary has been inducted as member after removing the earlier two members.

However, the agitating MU fraternity, in the joint statement, pointed out that the HRD ministry simply re-constituted the enquiry committee continently dropping the term “Independent” and sidelined the issue of leave to Prof AP Pandey.

The joint statement of the agitating MUSU, MUTA and MUSA reiterated that the issue of giving leave to Prof AP Pandey was the most contentious one in the light of recent general anguish relating to inspection of a college in Kohima by a UGC team headed by Prof AP Pandey as VC of MU.

After tremendous efforts, during the three days long parley, it was agreed in the meeting that during the period of enquiry and until follow up action on the enquiry report by the competent authority, Pandey will be on leave.

“But in a crude and blatant manner, the issue of leave has been completely left out of the order,” the joint statement pointed out while alleging that it was nothing but a clear violation of the mutual agreement.

“We strongly feel that these non-honouring of the items of the agreement as clear violations of the mutual understanding and thus amounting to breach of trust. We also feel that this amounts to insulting all of us including the honourable chief minister of Manipur,” the joint statement said while hinting continuation of the agitation.

Mention may be made that MU fraternity had agreed to suspend all forms of agitations temporarily after the agreement was reached with a condition that Union HRD ministry give a positive response to agreement that was signed on August 16.

As the ministry failed to fulfill the conditions, particularly reconstitution of the fact finding committee as independent enquiry committee and giving leave to AP Pandey, MUSU, MUTA and MUSU will continue their agitation, a source in the agitating fraternity said.

The Centrally run Manipur University has been in almost defunct state since May 30 after the students under MUSU launched indefinite strike demanding removal of Prof AP Pandey as vice chancellor of the university.

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