Condemning the heinous murder of the two young students and demanding stringent legal punishment against the nabbed culprits, students, teachers and the non-teaching staff of Manipur University staged a sit-in at the university’s main gate on Tuesday.
The protestors also demanded authorities to remove the Assam Rifles camp at Manipur University within 13 days and warned of intense agitations if they failed to do so.
Representatives of the Manipur University Students’ Union (MUSU), Manipur University Teachers' Association (MUTA), and Manipur University Staff Association (MUSA) were also among the protestors.
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the protest, MUSU president Thokchom Sonamani pointed out that two days had already passed since the demand was made and that authorities should seriously deliberate on the demand.
“We put forth the demand for removal in a recent press conference as the people in the valley had lost all faith in the central and state forces. Not only that the presence of a military camp inside the university campus seriously affected the academic atmosphere,” he said.
On the other hand, he demanded the authorities to mete out stringent punishment against the culprits nabbed by the CBI and maintained that the outcry would not cease till the demand was met.
“It is the demand of the people that swift actions be taken against the culprits. Delay in justice would only provoke the people to protest and agitate further,” he said.
He also condemned the use of lethal weapons against student protestors.
“The use of pellet guns against protestors has been banned in various states but such ban is not applied in Manipur,” he said.
He pointed out that such tactics were not in place in the hill districts of Manipur and maintaining such divisive orders within the state would only spark outcry from the people.
Meanwhile, MUTA president Irom Gambhir asserted that the time for all civil bodies to unite had arrived and as such appealed to all the civil bodies to strive collectively and stop playing into divisive petty politics.
“If we do not unite our chances of fending off vested politics is very slim,” he added.
He urged authorities to ramp up their peace restoration measures and maintained all academic activities and progress of the students would be destroyed if peace is not restored swiftly.
“We cannot remain silent at this crucial juncture and must strive collectively. The teaching community of the university is all for truth and peace,” he said.
During the sit-in, the protestors raised several placards demanding a long-term solution for future generations, to detect and deport illegal immigrants from Manipur and swift justice for the students’ murder.
The protestors also observed a two-minute silence in reverence for the two departed souls.