Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong condemns prolonged internet ban; demands immediate restoration in Ukhrul Dist

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Ukhrul: The Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong (TKS) released a statement today strongly condemning the prolonged disruption of internet services in Manipur, saying that the situation has inflicted severe damage on the state’s economy, education, and many other important sectors.

It demanded an immediate restoration of internet services in Manipur state in general and Ukhrul District in particular and called attention to the alarming issue of inadequate internet speeds affecting governmental offices, private institutions, and educational establishments.

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“The internet has become an indispensable tool for economic growth in the 21st century. The prolonged internet blackout in Manipur has resulted in a crippling impact on businesses, hindering their ability to operate effectively. More importantly, the educational sector has been severely hampered, with students and civil service examination aspirants struggling to access online resources, complete assignments, fill and submit forms necessary for their education and exams,” it added.

TKS also raised awareness concerning issues regarding the low-speed Wi-Fi services provided to some governmental offices and private institutions.

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“The allocated bandwidth speed for Ukhrul is 300 Mbps/unit of which 150 Mbps are leased out to institutions like NIC, FCI, State machineries and private vendors. Furthermore, there are approximately 100 subscribers with total users of around 500-600 users during the office hours. Maximum total users should be 240 as per the allocated bandwidth speed but since companies like Jio/Airtel do not provide Wi-Fi services, the overall user demand is beyond the number of allocated users. The inadequate internet speeds exacerbate the already dire situation caused by the internet blackout.”

“The Digital India campaign launched by the Government of India motto: ‘Power to Empower,’ with three main components, viz. digital literacy, building of digital infrastructure, and digital delivery of services shows a total contradiction to what it stands for, with what is happening i.e., shutdown internet. The Supreme Court of India, in 2015, declared that access to the internet is a fundamental right under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution, which guarantees the freedom of speech ànd expression,” it also said.

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The Saklong urgently called for the immediate resumption of internet services in Ukhrul District, recognizing the unique challenges faced by the region. The lack of internet connectivity in Ukhrul has hindered resident’s access to essential services, information, and educational resources. It demanded for Ukhrul district to regain connectivity swiftly by upgrading the existing servers, and the bandh on cellular internet be lifted with immediate effect.

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