Mobile internet ban in Manipur extended till Nov 8

08:10 PM Nov 05, 2023 | PTI |

The Manipur government has extended mobile internet ban in the state till November 8, officials said on Sunday. The move comes after a mob had on Wednesday attacked a camp of 1 Manipur Rifles here to loot its armoury, prompting security personnel to fire several rounds in the air.


The ban was extended following ”apprehensions that anti-social elements might use social media extensively for transmission of images, hate speeches and hate video messages inciting the passions of the public which might have serious repercussions for the law and order situation in the state”.

An order issued by Commissioner (Home) T Ranjit Singh, acknowledged the existence of ”elements of imminent danger of loss of life and/or damage to public-private property…as a result of inflammatory material and false rumours which might be transmitted/ circulated to the public through social media…in the context of the recent incidents of violence in some parts of the state”.

Tension had been brewing in the state capital after an SDPO was shot dead by tribal militants at Moreh town on Tuesday.

Barring a few days in September, mobile internet has remained banned in Manipur since May 3 when ethnic clashes broke out, and the government has been extending the prohibition periodically.


However, the order, for the first time, said the state government, would ”go for opening of mobile towers on trial basis in those district headquarters which had not been affected by violence”. ”The same, if found feasible, shall be replicated to other areas where the law and order situation has improved,” the government order said.

The ethnic strife in the northeastern state has affected ten districts.

Broadband services, which were also banned from May 4 for around two months, were made partially available since mid-July.

Manipur has remained gripped by recurring bouts of violence since ethnic clashes first erupted in May. More than 180 people have been killed since then.

The clashes have occurred over a number of grievances that both sides have against the other, however, the flashpoint of the crisis has been a move to give Meiteis Scheduled Tribe status, which has since been rolled back and an attempt to turf out tribals living in protected forest areas.

Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley, while tribals, which include Nagas and Kukis, constitute 40 per cent and reside mainly in the hill districts.


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