In a bid to curb the transmission of inflammatory material and false rumors through social media platforms, the Government of Manipur has issued an order to suspend internet and mobile data services in the state for another 5 more days till June 15. The decision comes in light of reports of incidents of violence, attacks, and arson, raising concerns about the potential misuse of social media to incite public passions and disrupt the law and order situation.
The order, issued by the Home Department of Manipur Secretariat, highlights the imminent danger posed to public and private property, as well as public tranquility and communal harmony, due to the spread of disinformation and false rumors through platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others. These mediums have the potential to facilitate and mobilize mobs, leading to violence, arson, vandalism, and other forms of disruptive activities.
This latest order is being implemented under the powers conferred by Rule 2 of the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017. The Government aims to maintain peace, communal harmony, and the safety of individuals by temporarily suspending or curbing mobile data services, internet and data services (including broadband connections), and VSATs (Very Small Aperture Terminals) of Bharatnet Phase-II in the territorial jurisdiction of Manipur. However, certain individuals or entities exempted by the Government or permitted by the competent authority may continue to have access to Internet Lease Line (ILL) services on a case-by-case basis.
The order is enacted for an initial period of five days and will be in effect from June 10 until 3:00 P.M. on June 15. It is important to note that any violation of these orders will be subject to legal action.
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