RKL calls for immediate revocation of internet ban in peaceful areas especially in Ukhrul

File photo: Yangray Shatsang

Ukhrul: The Raphei Katamnao Long (RKL) is deeply concerned about the prolonged internet shutdown in Manipur. This persistent disruption of essential communication services poses a grave threat to the fundamental rights and well-being of the people. The decision to ban internet services, while ostensibly aimed at maintaining law and order, has caused undue hardships to the people.

The internet ban for over five months has unfairly penalised its peaceful areas residents in the state. Internet access is an integral part of modern life, facilitating the exchange of information, access to education, and healthcare services, and enabling businesses to thrive.

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By depriving the people of this vital service for such an extended period has led to severe consequences, such as:

Education Disruption:
The suspension of internet services has severely impacted the student community in Manipur. For far too long, students in peaceful areas have been denied access to online educational resources. This prolonged disruption hampers their academic progress and limits their future opportunities.

Telemedicine and online consultations are now considered essential for people. The absence of internet connectivity poses a significant risk to the health and well-being of the population, especially those in remote areas or districts.

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Economic Impact:
Small businesses and entrepreneurs have suffered substantial economic losses due to the internet shutdown. The inability to access markets, conduct online transactions, market their products or services, and engage with customers has severely hampered economic activities.

Access to Information:
In today’s digital age, access to information is a fundamental right. The ban on internet services has curtailed people’s ability to access news, government notifications, and emergency services, jeopardising their safety and well-being.

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Violation of Human Rights:
Prolonged internet shutdowns violate fundamental human rights, including the right to freedom of expression, access to information, and the right to education. Such actions have far-reaching consequences for the democratic fabric of society.

“RKL acknowledges the importance of maintaining law and order in the state. However, we firmly believe that internet shutdowns should not be used as a blanket solution to address security concerns. Instead, we urged the government to explore alternative measures that are more targeted, proportionate, and in line with international human rights standards,” it said.

RKL has called upon the government to immediately revoke the internet shutdown and to prioritise the well-being and rights of its citizens, particularly in peaceful areas such as Ukhrul.

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