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HomeStatesManipur Extends Mobile Data and Broadband Suspension to Tackle Rumours and Hate...

Manipur Extends Mobile Data and Broadband Suspension to Tackle Rumours and Hate Speech, CM Appeals for Calm

Manipur Violence: In an effort to prevent the spread of rumours and hate speech in the wake of allegations of repeated instances like home arson, the Manipur government on Sunday extended the suspension of mobile data and broadband services throughout the state for five more days. According to the order from the Manipur Home Department, there is concern that some anti-social elements may use social media extensively to spread images, hate speech, and hate videos that inflame the public’s emotions and could seriously affect the state’s law and order situation.

Spreading Inflammatory Content Endangers Lives and Harmony

The notice also warned that inflammatory content and untrue rumours could spread through social media, messaging apps on mobile phones, Short Message Service (SMS), and dongle services, endangering lives, causing property damage to both public and private property, and ca using widespread disturbances to public tranquilly and communal harmony. “It has become necessary to take adequate measures to maintain law and order in the public interest, by stopping the spread of disinformation and false rumours, through various social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, among others, on various electro-mechanical devices, to thwart the design and activities of the anti-national and anti-social elements, to maintain peace and communal harmony, to prevent any loss of life or danger to public or private property.

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Manipur Takes Drastic Measures to Restore Peace

The suspensions will remain in effect for an additional five days with immediate effect from the time the suspension order becomes operational, until 3:00 pm on May 26, 2023, in order to “prevent any disturbances of peace of the public, under the jurisdiction of Manipur.” Since unrest broke out on May 3, 2023, the hill state has been shaken by interethnic conflicts, which have so far claimed at least 73 deaths, injured about 230 people, and left thousands of others homeless. N Biren Singh, the chief minister of Manipur, called for peace on Sunday while speaking on the sidelines of an event commemorating Anti-Terrorism Day at the Old Secretariat in Imphal. He did so in light of the difficulties maintaining law and order in the state in the wake of the turmoil earlier this month. The state’s citizens were also urged by Chief Minister Singh to place the blame where it belongs—with the administration, not the communities. “My earnest appeal to the people of Manipur that it is not about the communities,” the Chief Minister said as he delivered a forceful message. Don’t forget to blame the government. Please don’t target neighbourhoods; we will correct everything that the government can. Chief Minister Singh stated on Saturday that every attempt was being made to bring peace and normalcy back to the state that had been torn apart by conflict.

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Kuki-Zo’s Call for Equal Political Recognition

The Kuki Underground Groups (UGs) of Manipur, who signed a suspension of operations (SoO) with the state government and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) back in 2008, are reportedly thinking about asking for a separate administration and equal political status for the Kuki-Zo community, which will be separate from the state of Manipur though within the Union of India. This is in the midst of violence over the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe status.

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