The Manipur government have issued a show-cause notice to Airtel for providing internet services to un-whitelisted mobile numbers
Further, the notice states, that if in case satisfactory explanations are not received within the stipulated timeline, all services provided by M/S Airtel shall have to be shut down including Internet services in the State of Manipur without further notice.
In view of the prevailing volatile law and order situation in the State, Manipur State Government has been suspending telecom services in the State of Manipur since May 3, 2023, and has been reviewing at regular intervals for the phase-wise opening of the internet services.
However, suspension of mobile internet/data services and VPN services in the territorial jurisdiction of the State of Manipur except for those who have already been specifically whitelisted for physical testing by the State Government under Rule 2 of the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017 is in force as on date.
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However, despite earlier repeated advice/ instructions, it has been reportedly learnt that Mobile data/internet services provided by Airtel were available to un-whitelisted Mobile Numbers in some areas of Churachandpur & adjoining areas of Bishnupur District (especially in Phubakchao Ikhai areas) on 20-09-2023, while the suspension of mobile internet data / VPN services is still in force vide Orders No.H-3607/4/2022-HD-HD dated 18-06-2023, which is a serious lapse on the part of service provider and this lapse might have led to the dissemination of inflammatory and provocative clips/messages in various social media platforms leading to communal tension/hatred/rumours at this tense situation in the State.
Furthermore, such lapses may aggravate the ongoing law and order crisis in the State.
Considering the very sensitive and volatile law and order situation currently prevailing in the State, the aforesaid lapses have been viewed very seriously by the State Government, and this amounts to a violation of the Government orders suspending Mobile internet data / VPN services and do hereby issues Show Cause Notice to the M/s Airtel to give a written explanation on the following at the earliest latest by 12:00 noon of September 22, 2023.
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