Internet ban (including Mobile data) to be lifted in Manipur: CM N Biren

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Imphal: Internet ban in the entire jurisdiction of Manipur, including Mobile data will be lifted from today, chief minister N Biren Singh has said. The last order for internet ban of mobile data services extended from September 18 for 5 more days was due to expire today.

The government of Manipur has been effectively banning internet services since May 4. In parts of sensitive areas in Manipur, internet was snapped from May 3, 2023 evening after fierce violence erupted between the Kuki-Zo tribals and Meetei/Meitei non-tribals. The Manipur government, ever since the violence erupted, has been extending the suspension of internet services for four months, 144 days, since May 3.

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In all of the government internet ban order was cited, “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 on the law and order situation in Manipur.”

It may be recalled that the Manipur Home Department had lifted the record 82-day long internet ban on July 24 for Broadband Service (Internet Lease Line and Fibre to the Home) with immediate effect. However, the lifting of internet ban conditionally did not include Mobile Data Services and internet/data services through VPN citing reports of incidents of violence in a letter No. IC/11(163)/2008-PHO(Pt/01449 dated 24-07-2023.

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“The Governor of Manipur is pleased to revoke all orders issued regarding suspension of Mobile data Services under Rules 2 of Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017 and hereby orders the restoration of MMS over Mobile Service Providers/Mobile internet/ Data services in the territorial jurisdiction of State of Manipur normally with effect from 23-09-2023,” said the government (Home) order of today.

The ethnic violence in Manipur has so far killed over 175 people, burnt down over 4700 houses and displaced over 60,000 people from both the warring communities in strife-torn Manipur state.

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