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Agitators refuse to cooperate with MHRD probe panel

By Correspondent

IMPHAL, July 15 - Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD)�s order to set up a fact-finding committee to probe into the allegations against Manipur University Vice Chancellor Prof Adya Prasad Pandey has evoked sharp reactions from the agitators here.

Manipur University Students Union (MUSU), Manipur University Teachers Association (MUTA) and Manipur University Staff Association (MUSA) in a joint emergency meeting of its executive members on Saturday resolved that they will not give �any cooperation� to the fact finding committee.

�We have already intimated the decisions of the joint meeting to the concerned Central authority,� MUTA sources said today.

Terming the order as �insincere attempt� to �divert the demands of the university community,� the meeting resolved to reiterate that they are firm in their demand for removal of Prof Pandey.

It further demanded an independent Enquiry Committee headed by a retired Chief Justice of a high court to look into the charges already accepted as �grave� by MHRD.

The meeting also resolved that any official involved with Prof Pandey in the financial and administration mismanagement cannot by any means be involved in any capacity as official of any enquiry committee.

Manipur University is facing a crisis since May 30 after MUSU launched an indefinite agitation demanding removal of Prof Pandey over 15 allegations of financial and administrative irregularities.

Considering the gravity of the situation, MHRD Under Secretary Vijay Kumar has issued an order to conduct a fact finding enquiry into the allegations made against the Vice Chancellor. It also assigned Joint Secretary JK Tripathi of University Grants Commission to head and conduct the enquiry and submit its report within one month�s time.

Meanwhile, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Sunday reporredly urged Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar to bring about an amicable solution to end the Manipur University crisis.

PTI adds: Around 4.30 pm yesterday, the students and other staff members burned effigies of Tripathy, Union Minister Prakash Javedkar, and Deputy Secretary (Central university division), HRD Ministry, Surat Singh, at the main entrance gate of the University as a mark of protest.

�We are deeply anguished and disheartened by the nature of the committee,� said a functionary of Manipur University Students� Union (MUSU).

�The constitution of this committee is a ploy to undermine our democratic movement, an appeasement attempt to divert attention from the true nature of the demand,� he said.

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