Internet services in the Indian state of Manipur have been suspended for five days starting from May 3, according to an order issued by the Home Department of the State government. The action comes in response to a rally organized by the All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM) on May 3 in protest against the inclusion of the Meitei/Meetei community in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category. According to the order, incidents of violence were reported during the rally, particularly in the Bishnupur and Churachandpur districts. Jade Lyngdoh, a tech expert and human rights commentator, tweeted out the order, which was also reported by several national news publications: https://twitter.com/jadelyngdoh_/status/1653810490467049472 Disruption since April 27: The State’s Home Commissioner had issued an internet suspension order on April 27 too, but the shutdown was restricted to Churachandpur and Pherzawl districts for five days. The order was in response to a non-cooperation move announced by the Indigenous Tribal Leaders’ Forum (ITLF) in Churachandpur district on April 28, against the accumulative land and forest survey carried out by the authorities. In both orders, the State government stated that “some anti-social elements” are using social media to spread hate speech and incite the public, which “might have serious repercussions for the law and order”. It added that in order to take adequate measures to maintain law and order and curb disinformation through WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc, the department has suspended mobile data services under Rule 2 of Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or…
Internet shutdown in Manipur extended over “public order” reasons
Internet rights group, Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF), condemned the move and urged review of the order.
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