manipur internet ban

Manipur Government Partially Lifts Internet Ban; the broadband allowed, the mobile network remains blocked

Mobile internet services were banned on May 3 after ethnic clashes erupted in Manipur between two communities, Meitei and Kuki, leaving more than 140 people dead and thousands displaced.

manipur internet banProtesters from different parties shout slogans during a protest against ongoing sexual assault against women and ethnic violence in Manipur, Guwahati on Tuesday, July 25, 2023. (PTI Photo)

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Even as reports of violence from the northeastern state continue to emerge, the Manipur government on Tuesday reviewed the internet ban issue and ordered the conditional lifting of the suspension of broadband services in a liberalized manner. Mobile internet, on the other hand, continues to hang.

In an official ruling, the state Department of the Interior said the government considers the suffering of the common man as the internet ban has affected important offices, institutions, healthcare facilities, people working from home, etc.

Even as access to mobile internet services continues to be disrupted, citizens of Manipur can access internet services through Internet Lease Line (ILL) and Fiber To The Home (FTTH). According to the ordinance, broadband subscribers can only access the connection via static IP and cannot use wifi and hotspot services. Any existing VPN software or new VPNs must be removed from the system, per the terms and conditions of the order.

In the event of any violation, subscribers will be liable to sanctions in accordance with the laws in force on the matter, the ordinance specifies. In addition, the ordinance stated that the State Government has decided to keep the mobile Internet services suspended as the preparation to have an effective monitoring and regulatory mechanism for the mobile data service is not technically feasible and there are still concerns that the spreading of misinformation and false rumors through various social media platforms that may cause loss of life and/or damage to public/private property by indulging in arson/vandalism and other types of violent activities for which the monitoring mechanism is still lacking.

Mobile Internet services were banned on May 3 and broadband services the next day after ethnic clashes between the two Meitei and Kuki communities erupted in the state, killing more than 140 people and displacing thousands.

First published on: 2023-07-25 at 16:46 CEST

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