A total of 89 students and six teachers of Manipur University were arrested early Friday in Imphal following an agitation on the institute’s campus the day before, a top officer said.
Mobile internet services have been suspended in the state for the next five days to avoid circulation of “misinformation and rumours” over the incident, he said.
A team of officers raided the university hostel and the residential quarters around 1 am, and took the students and the teachers into custody based on a complaint filed by newly appointed acting Vice Chancellor K Yugindro Singh, IGP L Kailun said at a press meet here.
Singh, in his complaint, stated he was “gheraoed” by the agitators for trying to assume charges at the central university, where a prolonged battle between former vice chancellor AP Pandey and the students and teachers have hampered academic activities for over four months, the IG said.
President Ram Nath Kovind, in his capacity as Visitor of the Manipur University, recently placed Pandey under suspension as the inquiry into the allegations of irregularities against him was underway.
Soon after, Singh was appointed as the acting VC by the Ministry of Human Resources Department.
“The students, who had exams scheduled for the day, gheraoed the professor and forced him to write a written apology over his appointment as the acting VC,” Kailun said, quoting Singh’s complaint.
IGP Clay Khongsai, who was also part of the press meet, said the agitators pelted stones at the police officers during the midnight raid Friday.
“The officers had to burst tear gas shells to disperse the crowd before making the arrests,” he said.
Imphal West SP Jogeshchandra Haobijam told PTI later in the day that they were presented before the court of the Imphal West chief judicial magistrate, which remanded six teachers and seven students in judicial custody and two more students in police custody.
The rest were released with warnings, he added.
Meanwhile, the Congress, in another press meet Thursday, strongly condemned the clashes.
“An emergency-like situation is prevailing in the state under the N Biren-Singh government. We are not here to gain political mileage out of Thursday’s clashes but this current situation is condemnable,” Leader of Opposition in the Manipur Assembly and former chief minister O Ibobi Singh said.