The Manipur High Court has directed the state government to operationalise mobile towers, on a trial basis, in all district headquarters which have not been affected by ethnic strife.
The direction comes after the Manipur government extended the mobile internet ban in the state till November 8.
An order issued by the division bench comprising Chief Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Golmei Gaiphulshillu Kabui asked the state “to extend the services to areas” which have remained unaffected by violence.
The court also asked the state to upload on its official website copies of all the orders issued in relation to the suspension or curbing of mobile internet data services. The next hearing for compliance of the matter has been scheduled for November 9.
Barring a few days in September, mobile internet has remained banned in Manipur since May 3 when ethnic clashes broke out.
The internet ban was extended following apprehensions that “anti-social elements might use social media extensively for transmission of images, hate speeches and hate video messages, inciting the passions of the public which might have serious repercussions for the law-and-order situation in the state.”
Broadband services, which were also banned from May 4 for around two months, were made partially available in mid-July. Manipur has remained gripped by recurring bouts of violence since ethnic clashes first erupted in May.