The Manipur State Government on December 3 announced the removal of the internet shutdown in most parts of the state, citing an improvement in the law and order situation. The decision comes after a prolonged suspension of mobile data services, which began on September 26, 2023, and remained in force for an extended period.
The order, issued by the Governor of Manipur under Rule 2 of Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017, had initially been implemented for a period of five days, with subsequent extensions due to the volatile conditions prevailing in the region.
However, the recent decision to lift the internet shutdown applies to the majority of the state, providing relief to the general public, who faced inconvenience during the extended suspension period. The government emphasized the reported improvement in the law and order situation as a key factor in relaxing the restrictions.
Despite the overall lifting of the internet shutdown, specific conflict areas remain under continued restrictions. Mobile towers catering to services within a 2-kilometer radius along adjoining areas between districts, including Chandel and Kakching, Churachandpur and Bishnupur, Churachandpur and Kakching, Kangpokpi and Imphal West, Kangpokpi and Imphal East, Kangpokpi and Thoubal, as well as Tengnoupal and Kakching, will still face suspended operations.
The government order, which is effective immediately, aims to strike a balance between ensuring public safety and restoring normalcy. It directs all mobile service providers to comply with the new regulations, while internet users are urged to refrain from activities that could lead to future suspensions.
The suspension of mobile towers catering to specific conflict zones is set to remain in effect until 7:45 PM on December 18, 2023.
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