Manipur govt extends internet suspension till May 31

Amid the sporadic incidents of violence, Manipur government on Saturday extended the suspension of internet services for another five days to prevent the spread of rumours and videos, photos, and messages, which might affect the law and order situation in the ethnic-violence hit north-eastern state.

Manipur’s commissioner (home), H. Gyan Prakash, in a notification extending the suspension of internet services till May 31, said that the Director General of Police, Manipur, reported that there are still reports of incidents like arson of houses and premises.

“There is apprehension that some anti-social elements might use social media extensively for transmission of images, hate speech and hate video messages inciting the passions of the public which might have serious repercussions for the law and order situation in the state,” the order said.

After the widespread violence broke out on May 3 in 11 of the 16 districts during and after the ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ called by the All Tribal Students’ Union of Manipur to oppose the demand for inclusion of the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe category, the Manipur government suspended internet service to control the situation.

Amid the shortage of essential items, transport fuel and life-saving drugs, disturbances in banking and ATM facilities, the internet suspension across the mountainous state has added to the misery of the people.

The opposition Congress, the media and various other organisations have been demanding immediate restoration of internet service in Manipur.

Defence sources on Saturday said that in the aftermath of recent spurt in violence, Army and Assam Rifles have launched large scale combing operations in vulnerable areas as well as in the higher reaches surrounding Imphal Valley.

Continuing with operations, Army and Assam Rifles have launched multiple search operations in areas of Kangchuk, Motbung, Saikul, Pukhao and Sagolmang in the wee hours of Saturday to track down any armed insurgents operating in these areas.

These operations are part of overall ongoing efforts of Army and Assam Rifles to restore peace and normalcy in Manipur.

Army Columns are using the latest technology, weapons, equipment and other force multipliers extensively operating in the forested, remote and mountainous areas.

Army and Assam Rifles troopers on Friday night also successfully saved human life in one village each in Churachandpur and Imphal East district as the inimical elements were active in these areas.

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