In an ongoing protest, students of National Sports University (NSU) attempted to storm the office of Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh but were stopped by police.
The government and chief minister have repeatedly denied moving the university out of the state, but as per the students, they have been losing facilities in an attempt to shift the varsity to Lucknow.
Police have detained Wahengbam Birachandra, Vice President of Democratic Students' Association of Manipur (Desam) and a few other leaders, who have been protesting shifting of important NSU departments outside the state. However, Desam activists, who were seen arguing with policemen, including heavily-armed riot police deployed around the Chief Minister's Office, asserted that their agitation would continue.
"We will continue to agitate since our sportspersons need the departments and training and not just one or two administrative offices," an activist told ANI.
A few weeks ago, police had arrested some Desam activists for vandalising the administrative offices of NSU in protest against the shifting of some important varsity departments to Lucknow. Desam President Akash Salam had claimed that the walk-in interview for the appointments of faculties and staff of the important departments had been fixed on June 11 in New Delhi.
Police have tightened security in Imphal as more agitations are expected with the NSU expected to continue its plans to shift important departments elsewhere.
The NSU was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2014-15 budget session where it was allotted Rs 100 crore. The Manipur government has also allotted 325.90 acres of land. As of now, administrative offices are based in the area, but the university is expected to develop over time.
When opened, the university would be India's first sports university dedicated to not just teaching sports, but also developing coaches, sports medicine and sports technology. President Ram Nath Kovind approved the ordinance on June 1 after it was passed by the Cabinet on May 23.
Currently, only a few universities in the country offer sports-related courses. The NSU was set up with an eye to providing training to Indian athletes to better compete at national and international events.
With inputs from IANS.