Mobile internet suspended, ban orders imposed in tense Manipur | Morung Express

Imphal, Aug 7 (PTI): The situation in Manipur remained tense on Sunday, after mobile internet services were suspended across the state and banning orders imposed in some areas following an indefinite economic blockade on two national highways called by a body influential student to more autonomy for the hill. districts, officials said.

Vehicular traffic and supplies from Assam have been affected due to blockade on Imphal-Dimapur highway (NH-2) and Imphal-Jiribam highway (NH-39) imposed by the Students’ Union tribes of Manipur (ATSUM).

An order issued late Saturday by Special Secretary (Interior) H Gyan Prakash said mobile internet services had been suspended for five days as some anti-social elements were using social media to transmit hate speech.

The decision was taken after a vehicle was set on fire by disbelievers at Phougakchao Ikhang in Bishnupur district on Saturday night, he added.

The incident led to community tensions, the order added. Hours later, another vehicle was also set on fire at Torbung-Bangla in the district by masked men, officials said.

Meanwhile, the District Magistrates of Bishnupur and Churachandpur have imposed restraining orders under Section 144 of the CrPC for a period of two months, starting on Saturday evening.

No other untoward incidents were reported, officials said. The ATSUM lobbied for the tabling of Manipur Autonomous District Council (Hill Areas) (Amendment) Bill 2021 in the monsoon session of the assembly for greater financial and administrative autonomy for the region hills to ensure development at the same level as the valley areas of the state.

Instead, the state’s BJP government led by N Biren Singh earlier in the week introduced the Manipur District Council (Hill Areas) 6th and 7th Amendment Bills, which protesters say , did not comply with their claims.

The ATSUM had been observing a total shutdown in the tribal-dominated Kangpokpi and Senapati since Tuesday, after the new amendments were introduced out of the blue.

Schools, colleges, shops and commercial establishments were closed due to the shutdown, while passenger buses remained off the roads. The strike ended on Friday morning, after which the “economic blockade” began, affecting supplies to the Meitei-dominated Imphal Valley region, officials said. Police arrested five ATSUM student leaders for conspiring to organize the protests.

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