Mobile internet suspended in Manipur after riots

Amid protests by tribal students, the BJP-led government in Manipur suspended mobile internet services for five days across the state from Sunday morning.

Authorities in Bishnupur and Churachandpur districts have also imposed orders prohibiting the gathering of four or more people for two months.

In an order issued late Saturday night, the state Department of Interior said mobile internet services should be suspended due to certain anti-social elements stoking communal passions and circulating hate speech on media platforms. social.

Some of the “objectionable” posts on social media relate to the burning of two vehicles in two separate incidents on Saturday after police caned tribal students who were protesting the introduction of the Manipur District Council’s Sixth and Seventh Amendments ( hilly areas) to the Assembly on August 2.

Nearly 30 students were injured in the police intervention. The Tribal Students Union of Manipur (ATSUM) has called on the 60-member House to table the Manipur Autonomous District Council (Amendment) Bill 2021 to ensure hill areas inhabited by tribes get greater financial and administrative autonomy for development on a par with valleys dominated by non-tribal people.

Rejected invoices

Rejecting amendment bills that “cannot meet tribal aspirations”, the ATSUM has imposed an indefinite economic blockade along national highways in hill districts from Friday morning.

The highways are the lifelines of the Imphal Valley, the central part of the state surrounded by hills.

In retaliation, a valley-based organization called Meitei Leepun shut down the ATSUM office in Imphal. Police reopened the office on Friday evening.

On August 4, police arrested five ATSUM leaders and charged them with conspiring to impose the blockade. They are now in custody.

The ATSUM said the blockade would only be lifted if the state government gave in to its demands and changed its “mother-in-law” attitude towards the tribals. “We will step up our agitation,” said ATSUM Vice President Vanlallian Khaute.

Economic or road blockades, aimed at choking off supplies from the Imphal Valley, were a regular feature of Manipur. He made a comeback after 2017 when Nongthombam Biren Singh took over as Chief Minister.

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