The poor handling of the Manipur University situation by the Biren Singh government triggered massive outrage in the state in 2018.
The University remained closed for more than one month after student bodies began protesting against vice-chancellor Adya Prasad Pandey, demanding his immediate removal.
Several protesting students were injured when police resorted to baton charge to disperse them in Imphal. The situation took ugly turn when police in a midnight raid on September 20 arrested 89 students and six teachers from University campus on the basis of an FIR lodged by Professor K. Yugindro Singh.
Normalcy returned to the varsity campus after Manipur High Court intervened and appointed former chief secretary of Manipur, Jarnail Singh as “administrator” who is fully empowered to discharge the functions of the Vice-Chancellor.
In 2018, ace boxer Mary Kom made Manipur as well as the country proud by becoming the first ever boxer to win six AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in New Delhi. Mary got the better of Ukrainian Hanna Okhota in the 48 kg gold at the 2018 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships.
The lynching of a vehicle thief by a mob in Imphal West district of the state also grabbed media headlines in 2018. Five persons were arrested in connection with the lynching. The Manipur Human Rights Commission took up a suo motu case in connection with the incident and directed the state DGP to probe the matter.
BJP-led Manipur government passed the People’s Protection Bill on July 23. The Bill saw the demands of the majority community of Meiteis in the valley met. The Bill defines “Manipuris” and “non-Manipuris” and seeks to regulate the entry and exit of the latter in order to protect the interests and identity of the former.
Imphal-based journalist Kishorechandra Wangkhem, who was arrested by Manipur Police under stringent National Security Act (NSA) on November 26 for uploading a video on Facebook lashing out at the BJP-led state government, was sentenced to a 12-month jail term.
In a significant development in November, the Central Investigative Bureau (CBI) submitted charge sheets against 15 state police personnel in two cases of fake encounters. CBI submitted chargesheet against 14 police personnel of state before the chief judicial magistrate, Imphal East in alleged fake encounter cases.
This came after the CBI began an investigation, in compliance with last year’s Supreme Court verdict, into the 1,528 alleged extra-judicial killings in the state from 2000 to 2012 by Manipur Police and security forces.
The alleged shifting of border pillar at Kwatha Khunou village in Manipur’s Tengnoupal district by Myanmar government created lots of controversies in the state. The development came to fore after Tengnoupal DC Tombikanta, after visiting the border in June, claimed that the border pillar 81 had been shifted three km inside the Indian territory.
Manipur’s weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu became the first Indian in over two decades to claim a gold medal at the World Weightlifting Championship in Anaheim, USA. Chanu lifted 85kg in snatch and 109kg in clean and jerk to total an impressive 194kg in the women’s 48kg, in the process setting a new national record.