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Internet ban in violence-hit Manipur extended till October 16

The Manipur government on Wednesday extended the suspension of mobile data internet services in the violence-hit state for five days till October 16 evening, an official notification said. It also urged people to restrain their actions of uploading videos or pictures depicting violent activities on social media platforms.

The step was taken amid a spurt in numerous videos and photographs of disturbing and violent content on social media platforms, including WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and X.

In an order issued by the Manipur Governor’s Office, such violence-inciting materials should not be disseminated through any social media platforms or through bulk SMS, which may aggravate the law and order situation in the state.

Any individual found in possession of these materials must approach the Superintendents of Police of their districts to submit the materials for legal inspection and action, the order said.

People have been urged not to circulate, at any cost, such violent content through any social media platform. Violators will face prosecution under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Information Technology Act.

Mobile internet was banned after violence broke out in the state on May 3. It was restored on September 23 following an announcement by Chief Minister N Biren Singh.

However, it was again banned on September 26 after photographs of the bodies of two missing students went viral, leading to public agitation in Imphal Valley. The ban on broadband since May 5 was, however, partially lifted in mid-July.

On October 9, a video purportedly showing a man being burnt in Manipur had gone viral. The video of the burning man was shot on May 4, the same day when two women were paraded naked by a mob, the footage of which sparked nationwide outrage after it surfaced in July.

More than 180 people were killed since the violence erupted on May 3 after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

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.

(with inputs from PTI)

Edited By:

Prateek Chakraborty

Published On:

Oct 12, 2023

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Image Credit / Source: News Wire