Bringing no relief to mobile users, the Manipur government on Saturday extended the ban on mobile internet for yet another five days, i.e., till 7.45 pm of November 23, 2023.
As per a release from the Commissioner (Home), Government of Manipur, there is 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 for the law-and-order situation in the State of Manipur.
There is an imminent danger of loss of life and/or damage to public/private property, and wide spread disturbances to public tranquillity and communal harmony, as a result of inflammatory material and false rumours, which might be transmitted/circulated to the public through social media/messaging services on mobile services, SMS services and dongle services, the commissioner stated.
And to thwart the design and activities of anti-national and anti-social elements and to maintain peace and communal harmony and to prevent any loss of life or danger to public/private property, it has become necessary to take adequate measures to maintain law and order in public interest, by stopping the spread of disinformation and false rumours, through various social media platform such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. on various electronic equipment like tablet, computer, mobile phone etc. and sending bulk SMS, for facilitating and/or mobilization of mobs of agitators and demonstrators, which can cause loss of life and/or damage to public/private property by indulging in arson/vandalism and other types of violent activities, the order stated.
Stating thus, the Commissioner (Home) issued the order suspension/curbing of mobile internet/data services, internet/data services through VPN in the territorial jurisdiction of the State of Manipur for another 5(five) days with immediate effect from the time this suspension order becomes operational till 7.45 pm of November 23 as preventive measure in public interest.
In the meanwhile, the state government had already opened a substantial number of mobile towers in few district headquarters, which has not been affected by the violence on trial basis and as per direction of the High Court of Manipur’s order dated November 6, 2023 and subsequent order dated November 9, 2023 as passed in PIL No. 25 of 2023 and other related cases and after proper examination/assessment of the prevailing law and order situation in the state; the state government is considering to open and operationalize more numbers of mobile towers in the other district headquarters on trial basis, if law and order situation permits.