Manipur Transport Minister Announces Internet Services to Resume in Four Districts

Northeast Desk, 8th November: Manipur’s Transport Minister, Khashim Vashum, has announced that mobile internet services will soon be restored in the four districts of Ukhrul, Chandel, Tamenglong, and Senapati. He made this announcement during an event in Ukhrul, stating that mobile internet services will resume in these districts. Additionally, the government plans to install mobile towers on a trial basis in the district headquarters of these four areas.

These four districts are predominantly Naga-majority regions and have remained unaffected by months of ethnic violence that has affected other parts of Manipur.

This development follows a directive from a division bench of the Manipur High Court, which instructed the state government to restore internet services in areas that have remained unaffected by the Meitei-Kuki ethnic violence over the last six months. However, the specific date for the resumption of internet services and the areas to be covered is yet to be confirmed.

The court also ordered the state to publish copies of all orders related to the suspension or restriction of mobile internet data services on its official website. The next hearing regarding compliance with these instructions is scheduled for November 9.

The All Naga Students Association of Manipur (ANSAM) has been advocating for the restoration of internet services in areas unaffected by the violence.

Mobile internet services in Manipur have been banned since May 3, except for a brief period in September. The extension of the internet ban by the Manipur government was in response to concerns that anti-social elements might use social media to transmit images, hate speech, and videos, potentially inciting public sentiments and affecting the law and order situation in the state.

Ethnic clashes in Manipur have affected ten districts, resulting in more than 180 casualties. The conflict stems from various grievances, with the key issue being the attempt to grant Meiteis Scheduled Tribe status, which was subsequently revoked, and the displacement of tribals living in protected forest areas. Meiteis constitute around 53% of Manipur’s population and primarily reside in the Imphal Valley, while tribals, including Nagas and Kukis, make up 40% of the population and mainly inhabit the hill districts.

Read More: Nagaland Governor and BJP Condemn Derogatory Comments “Dog Eaters” About Naga Community

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