Mobile data services have been suspended for five days across Manipur, an order issued by Special Secretary (Home) H Gyan Prakash said on Saturday. According to the order, some anti-social elements are using social media to transmit hate speeches inciting the passions of the public.
The decision came following a report by the Superintendent of Police of Bishnupur district that a vehicle was set ablaze by 3-4 men at Phougakchao Ikhang on Saturday evening. The crime has created communal tension, the order said. The District Magistrate of Bishnupur has also imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC for a period of two months across the valley district beginning Saturday evening. Tension has been brewing in the state after All Tribal Student Union Manipur (ATSUM) imposed an indefinite economic blockade along the national highways of the landlocked state on Friday morning.
The student body had been demanding that the Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Council Bill 2021 be tabled in the Assembly. The imposition of the indefinite economic blockade prompted a valley-based organisation Meitei Leepun to lock the Imphal office of ATSUM on Friday afternoon. Meitei Leepun claimed that the blockade targets the valley area of the state.
The ATSUM was demanding the tabling of the Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Council (Amendment) Bill 2021 in the Monsoon session of the assembly for greater financial and administrative autonomy of the hill region to ensure development at par with the valley areas of the state. Instead, the N Biren Singh-led BJP government of the state introduced the Manipur (hill areas) district council 6th and 7th amendment bills on Tuesday, which the protesters claimed was not in line with their demands. ATSUM was observing a total shutdown in the tribal-dominated hill of Kangpokpi and Senapati since Tuesday after the amendment bills were introduced unannounced.