No major incidents of violence have been reported in Manipur in the past few days, but the ban on mobile and broadband internet services for the last 15 days has affected many professionals who depend on the internet.
The ban of internet services has put many professionals on the verge of losing their jobs, said Moirangthem Sudhakar, spokesperson, All Manipur Remote Working Professionals.
Speaking to the media on Sunday at the Manipur Press Club, Sudhakar said that the remote working professionals or other professionals who depend entirely on the internet are facing huge problems due to the ban on internet in the state. Some have lost their jobs due to the situation, he added.
The Manipur government banned internet service in the state in view of the ethnic violence that broke out in Churachandpur and several parts of the state since May 3, in an effort to prevent rumours that was circulated through various social media platforms.
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“If there are fears of rumours being spread through social media that could escalate the violence in the state, the government or the authority, with their experts, may block all social media sites and public VPN by instructing all the Internet Service Providers (ISP) to do the same,” said Sudhakar.
He said several professionals are working from home (Manipur) with different organizations and companies from outside Manipur or abroad. As the professionals were left with no means to continue their services, many have informed the situation of the state to their respective organizations or companies. But due to the prolonged non-working status there has been immense loss of salary which in turn affects expenses of meeting daily requirements and thus many professionals are on the verge of losing their jobs, he added.
He urged the government to arrange an internet connected building or work place for the professionals so that they can come and do their work so as to give some relief while the government is working out for a social media free internet service.
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During the press meet, senior legal advisor of the All-Manipur Remote Working Professionals, Okram Gyanenchandra Singh, said that the professionals who are working through the internet are also contributing some part of the state economy directly or indirectly.
“If we lose our jobs, who will be providing us jobs for us and for our family,” he asked.
The ban on the internet for 15 days in the state has not only affected the professionals working through the internet but also to many other businesses. If the government failed to find a solution to provide services to these professionals, organizations and companies from outside the state may not hire people from the state in future, he said.
The state already has a high unemployment rate, he said, adding that if it continued it would adversely affect the employment of youth.
It was also informed during the press meet that the All Manipur Remote Working Professionals have also submitted a memorandum to the chief secretary and the commissioner (Home) on May 19 for immediate arrangement of internet connection for the professionals.
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