University confirms VC Pal taken into custody

University of the South Pacific Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Pal Ahluwalia and his wife Sandra Price have been taken into police custody, the university confirmed in an email to students and staff this morning.

In the email signed off by Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education Professor Jito Vanualailai and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Regional Campuses and Estates and Infrastructure Dr Giulio Paunga, the university said it had “no further information on their wellbeing” adding “business continues as usual.”

It also called on students to remain calm “for the safety and wellbeing” of the university community.

According to media reports, Professor Pal and his wife were taken from their house last night to Nadi Airport where they are awaiting the first flight out.

The first flight out today bound for Brisbane departed at 10.30am.

In an interview this morning before the email was sent out, University Students Association spokesperson Aneet Kumar said they were awaiting official word from the university.

“We have been receiving calls but have not received official word from the university, but If it’s true then it is shocking,” he said.

The deportation of Professor Pal comes after months of wrangling at the regional institution over allegations he made of financial abuse and mismanagement when he took office early 2019, in place of Rajendra Chandra.

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