MU arson robs doctoral degrees, livelihood

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The October 3 arson at Manipur University, during which the university’s recreation hall along with some shops was razed to the ground, has caused much hardship to the students of the university and others specially those working at the shops.

A DTP shop ‘Mother Computer’, a restaurant and two other smaller shops were razed to the ground along with the Recreation Centre in the arson.

The restaurant’s owner is identified as Inderjit, has been bedridden for long due to paralysis.

The unfortunate incident has robbed the families running the shops of their earning avenue, according to Sougrakpam Dinesh owner of the Mother Computer.

Miscreants had set on fire the recreation hall during the night of October 3 and the fire soon spread to the nearby shops, razing down all the structures within minutes.

Dinesh said more than 20 ongoing and six completed PhD theses were inside his shop at the time of the arson. Many research works including soft copies left in the shop for printing have also been destroyed along with the shops, he lamented.

Many researchers and students have been left with nothing but only trauma and tears as all their research and hard work kept inside his shop have been razed down in the arson, Dinesh said.

He said his shop is also a study centre of the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT), (erstwhile DOEACC Society) and moreover the centre provides different short term computer work courses.

He said the centre is run with five employees.

Dinesh has demanded atleast a compensation of Rs 20 lakhs for his loss and a suitable location where he could restart his business.

He said they want the compensation at the earliest. The centre was his family’s lifeline, he said.

Dinesh also lamented that the miscreants who set the arson are brainless and acted inhumanely.

They have destroyed their own future, he said, adding if the arson was the handiwork of students they have no future and they were not there to learn.

The centre was started in 2006 with only six computers and was slowly upgraded to 18 computers, he said adding each computer stored several documents, files of researchers and students.

He said the centre has been providing service to all students, researchers and teachers of all communities.

We have no concerned for neither the demands of the students or the conflicts within the university, he said.

He said some students have offered to help set up his centre again, but he is at a lost as to how to reset his business.

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