IMPHAL, Apr 28: Tribal students of the Manipur University boycotted the visit by an expert committee of the University Grants Commission, UGC to the university on Monday and smashed some two wheelers parked inside the university complex for violating the general strike called by them in the campus, a police report said.
Due to the strike, conduct of classes at the university and the working of other offices including the administrative block of the university and State Bank of India were disturbed for the day.
The experts committee from the UGC arrived today on a three-day visit to the university to review its performance during the 10th Plan period and also to assess the requirements of the university during the 11th Plan period.
In the meantime, the six-member expert team led by PK Oommen, convener of UGC have started holding meetings with the officials of the university to review the performance of the institute.
The Manipur University Tribal Students’ Union called the general strike within the Manipur University campus today as a part of the boycott of the UGC team over their demand for tribal reservation in Manipur University and other Central institutions even though the university authorities appealed against the strike.
The students staged a sit-in protest at the main gate of the university with placards like ‘Stop stealing our quota’, ‘Respect tribal rights’ etc. During the protest they also barred entry of any person inside the campus.
They also took out a rally inside the university campus shouting slogans like ‘We want justice’, ‘MUTSU stands for justice’, ‘Justice delayed is justice denied’, ‘Go back UGC team’.
Earlier, the striking students reportedly smashed some vehicles entering the university complex for defying their general strike. However, police prevented them from further violent acts inside the campus, a police report said.
The Manipur University was converted into a Central University two years back. According to the norms followed all over the country, the university reserves 7.5 per cent of jobs for Scheduled Tribe candidates.
The tribal students are demanding an increase of the quota in proportion to the tribal population of Manipur. The Scheduled Tribes constitute 33 per cent of the 24-lakh population of the state.
The striking students will hold a meeting with the UGC team tomorrow.
In the meantime, the Manipur University Schedule Caste Welfare Association submitted a representation to the UGC team led by its convener PK Oomen which arrived at the university at around 9.30 am today.
In the memorandum, they have demanded 15 percent reservation for the schedule tribe students of the university.
The expert team will stay till May 5 next to complete their mission, another source said.
Tipaimukh dam equipment destroyed by miscreants
By : A Staff Reporter 4/29/2008 2:27:31 AM
IMPHAL, Apr 28: Armed miscreants destroyed drilling machines and other equipments used in the construction works of the Tipaimukh Multipurpose Hydel Project (tmhp) late yesterday afternoon, an official report said Monday.
Due to the threats of dire consequences from the miscreants who destroyed the machines and other equipments, the engineers and labourers have run away from the site and reported the matter to the North Eastern Power Cooperation, NEEPCO at Silchar today, the report added.
A total of 13 engineers and 79 labourers of the NEEPCO are engaged in the soil testing works at the dam site located in the interiors of Churachandpur district bordering Assam and Mizoram.
A 1,500 mw project, one of the largest in the region, it is to generate power from the Barak river, the second largest river in the region. The site of the dam is almost on the border with Mizoram. The proposed 164m-high dam will come up 500 m downstream of the confluence of the Barak and Tuivai rivers. Its reservoir will have a storage capacity of 15,900 million cm with a maximum depth of 1,725.5 m.
The North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (neepco), the government agency entrusted with the building of power projects in the northeast, has been handed the project. In November 2005, it floated a global tender for the project and in July 2006, the pre-bid qualification of the tender for the first phase was opened.
The revised cost of the project is Rs 5,163.86 crore.
Many civil organizations like the Citizens Concern for Dams and Projects with the support of almost all the civil bodies in Manipur are opposing the construction of the dam citing the impact of the dam to the flora and fauna of the region as well as considering the large scale displacement to be caused by the construction of the dam.