Mobile Internet services suspended in Manipur


Imphal: As Manipur continues to remain tense for the past one week, mobile Internet services on Wednesday were suspended once again for the next five days while curfew continued for the fifth consecutive day in the hilly Churachandpur district, an official said.

The night curfew was also imposed on Wednesday in several tension-ridden mountainous districts.

Thousands of tribals on Wednesday turned up for the ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ called by the All Tribal Students Union of Manipur (ATSUM) in all the 10 hill districts of Manipur to oppose the demand for inclusion of the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe category.

MS Education Academy

Police said that there were some sporadic incidents in several districts and tension prevailed in the few hill districts after the ATSUM-backed rallies.

Tension prevailed in Churachandpur, Senapati, Chandel, Kangpokpi and Tengnoupal districts, where shutting down of markets and suspension of public transport forced the authorities to impose a curfew.

The valley is dominated by Meitei and they are seeking Scheduled Tribe category status, alleging infiltration from Bangladesh and Myanmar, destroying the demographic pattern in the state.

“Whereas, it is considered that movement of any person outside their residences is likely to cause a breach of peace, disturbance to public tranquillity and grave danger to human lives and properties,” a government order said.

“Some anti-social elements are using social media extensively for transmission of images, hate speech and hate video messages inciting the passions of the public. The social media has also become a handy tool for rumour mongers and is being used to incite the general public, which might have serious repercussions for the law and order situation in Manipur.

“There is an imminent danger of loss of life and /or damage to public/private property, and wide-spread disturbances to public tranquillity and communal harmony, as a result of inflammatory material and false rumours, which are being/could be transmitted/circulated to the public through social media/ messaging services on mobile services, SMS services and dongle services. All mobile service providers are hereby directed to ensure compliance with this order,” a notification stated.

Protesting against the state government’s action to evict tribals from the forest lands and destruction of illegal poppy cultivation in the reserve and protected forests, the tribals had on March 10 organised protest rallies in three districts — Churachandpur, Kangpokpi and Tengnoupal, during which five people were injured.

Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh claimed on Tuesday that Myanmar immigrants are responsible for deforestation, poppy cultivation, and drugs menace in the state.

In a series of social media posts, the Chief Minister said the state government will continue to give utmost priority to the protection of Manipur and its entire indigenous people.

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( With inputs from )

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