VC in-charge resigns, new in-charge steps in

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Manipur University vice-chancellor in-charge M. Dhaneshwar resigned today in the wake of the raging controversy over reservation of seats in the admission to post graduate courses, that triggered arson on the campus late last night.

Th Jekendra of physics department took over as the vice-chanceloor in-charge after Dhaneshwar put in his resignation. The university is without a full time vice-chancellor after H.N.K. Sharma retired on August 16 this year.

The resignation came after all classes of the university closed indefinitely from today following mounting tension on the campus over the reservation issue. The order for closure of the classes was issued yesterday.

Students have been agitating against delay in admission to first year post graduate courses. As the university is sandwiched between directives of the Manipur high court and UGC guidelines on the quantum of reservations the academic session which was supposed to commence in July could not take off as the admission process has been stalled.

Sources said violence broke out after 10.30 last night on the campus with some structures inside the campus going up in flames. The violence was believed to be triggered by the “failure” of the academic council to take a decision on the reservation issue during its meeting yesterday.

The meeting of the academic council was adjourned.

The Manipur high court yesterday reportredly passed a ruling on the reservation issue. However, the contents of the directive could not be ascertained by IFP.

Following a summon from the Union human resource ministry Dhaneshwar was scheduled to visit Delhi today to meet officials of the ministry and officials of the UGC, the sources said.

It may be noted that Human resource minister Prakash Javadekar visited Imphal yesterday to attend the meeting of Manipur BJP state executive. He did not make any comment on the resrvation dispute. Instead he dwelt on India’s “surgical strike” inside Pakistan territory and other issues.

Last night suspected student agitators set on fire the recreation hall, a computer shop and a restaurant. The structures were completely destroyed. Fire tenders had to be called in to douse the fire. Two more teachers’ rooms were also found damaged.

Sources at the university said the day remained trouble free though the campus was in grip of tension. “We did not see many students on the campus today. No untoward incident took place today,” the sources said.

Trouble was brewing since yesterday afternoon. Students including those demanding completion of the administration process held demonstrations on the campus as the academic council’s meeting was in progress.

The dispute is over the reservation for Scheduled Tribe, Scheduled Cast and Other Backward Classes.

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