The Manipur government on Friday informed the High Court of Manipur on Friday that it has operationalised 41 mobile towers and unbarred mobile data in the districts of Senapati, Ukhrul, Tamenglong and Noney.
A division bench of the Manipur High Court led by Chief Justice Shiddarth Mridul had 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 came after the Manipur government extended the mobile internet ban in the state till November 8.
The court was further informed that the state Director General of Police has not objected to further extending internet services in the district headquarters of Chandel, Jiribam and Kamjong.
Further, the state government report submitted before the HC states that operationalisation of mobile towers in areas not affected - in partially affected districts – is underway, and will be operationalised immediately upon overcoming the technical difficulties obtained due to paucity of time.
Barring a few days in September, mobile internet has remained banned in Manipur since May 3 when ethnic clashes broke out.
During the hearing on a batch of PIL petitions related to the internet restrictions in the state since May 4, the Manipur government submitted its November 5 order.
In light of this, the Bench of newly-appointed Chief Justice Sidharth Mridul and Justice Golmei Gaiphulshillu Kabui on Monday ordered the operationalisation of mobile towers in areas unaffected by violence.
While the Manipur government had said it was considering this in unaffected districts, the High Court clarified that its directions were also meant to cover pockets of peaceful regions even within districts where other parts were seeing violence.
On November, the suspension of mobile internet in Manipur was partially lifted in some hill district headquarters of Ukhrul, Senapati, Tamenglong and Noney which had not been affected by violence.
The All Naga Students Association Manipur (ANSAM) had been making the demand for lifting of mobile internet ban in areas not affected by the violence.