On July 20, the Manipur government suspended internet services in the state for five days to prevent the spread of provocative messages and videos circulating on social media. The ban came into effect on July 20 and is expected to remain in effect till July 25. The ban comes in the wake of increased protests and public anger against the Vice-Chancellor of Manipur University — Adya Prasad Pandey. Manipur University Student's Union (MUSU) is demanding the removal of Pandey as VC, alleging that the former professor of Benaras Hindu University has been involved in financial irregularities and administrative mismanagement ever since his appointment in 2016. The immediate trigger for the internet suspension was widespread confrontation on the night of July 19 between police and protestors who were in support of the 48-hour general strike called by Manipur University Student's Union (MUSU). The state has witnessed several cases of mob violence and lynching in the state triggered allegedly via fake videos and messages. The order for suspension was issued by Special Secretary (Home) of Manipur government Kh Raghumani Singh who said that "anti-social elements" are using social media extensively to spread hate video messages inciting violence. Singh said the suspension has been ordered under Rule II of the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017. This is the third instance of internet shutdown in Manipur. In December 2016, the district magistrate of East and West Imphal, had issued an order to suspend mobile Internet services due…
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