In a bid to maintain law and order amidst concerns over incidents and the potential misuse of social media platforms, the internet connection in Manipur has been suspended for an additional 5 days. The suspension will remain in effect until 3:00 P.M. of July 5, 2023.
The decision comes as the Director General of Police in Manipur reported ongoing incidents of violence, attacks, arson, and exchange of gunfire. There is a growing apprehension that anti-social elements might exploit social media extensively to disseminate hate speech, hate video messages, and incite public unrest, posing serious repercussions for the state's law and order situation.
The authorities have expressed imminent dangers, including the loss of life, damage to public and private property, and widespread disturbances to public tranquillity and communal harmony. They are particularly concerned about the circulation of inflammatory material, false rumors, and the mobilization of agitators and demonstrators through various social media platforms, messaging services, and bulk SMS.
In line with Rule 2 of the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017, the order for the further suspension/curbing of mobile data services and internet/data services, including broadband and VSATs, has been issued. This order covers various electronic devices such as tablets, computers, and mobile phones, as well as platforms like Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and more. Specific exemptions may be granted by the government on a case-by-case basis.
The internet suspension order, which will be effective immediately, aims to prevent disturbances to the peaceful coexistence and maintenance of public order in Manipur. It will be in force for the next 5 days, ending at 3:00 P.M. on July 5, 2023.
The order has been issued in an ex-parte manner due to the emergent situation and will be disseminated to the public through press and electronic media. Any violation of the order will result in legal action, as warned by the authorities.
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