Internet shutdown to control the recent outbreaks of communal voilence and arson that gripped Manipur has resulted in closure of banks and empty ATMs and affected financial transaction, adding to the woes of the common people hit by the prevailing unrest across the state.
While indefinite curfew remained enforced in 11 violence-hit districts following the series of communal clashes since May 3, suspension in Internet/data services has been extended till May 13, causing much inconviences for the people in the state.
Internet shutdown has affected online banking, payment of bills and all forms of digital financial transactions across the state.
Providing some relief, curfew was lifted from 5 am to 8 am in Imphal on Tuesday.
During the curfew relaxation hours, the state witnessed many residents coming out from their houses and moving in and around the city visiting every ATM booth.
Almost all the ATM in Imphal areas have run out of cash. Many expressed their frustrations and stated that the authorities should ensure cash in ATM at least.
Internet services in Manipur have been suspended for five days starting May 3, and the suspension of internet extended to five more days, according to an order issued by the Home Department of the state government.
Speaking to this reporter, a 53-year-old man, who was driving from one ATM booth to another, expressed that he had been searching for ATM booths in Imphal since yesterday. Most of the ATMs are closed and those which are opened have no money, he said.
He wanted to buy some fresh vegetables and other essential households items but unable to pay with Gpay or Paytm.
“I think I am not the only one person in this situation,” he said.
Meanwhile, people in violence-hit Manipur thronged the markets and shops during the curfew relaxation timings.
As curfew timings are relaxed in 11 violence-hit districts in the state, people in large numbers ventured out of their houses and visited shops and markets to stock up essentials during the hours curfew was relaxed.