New Delhi: The Manipur government on Sunday, June 25, extended the ban on internet services in the state till June 30. Internet was first cut off in the state on May 3 after the escalation of ethnic conflict, and the shutdown has been extended through multiple government orders since then.
“…To thwart the design and activities of anti-national and anti-social elements and to maintain peace and communal harmony and to prevent any loss of life or danger to public/private property, it has become necessary to take adequate measures to maintain law and order in public interest, by stopping the spread of misinformation and false rumours through various social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc…,” said an order issued by the governor.
The internet ban will continue till 3 pm of June 30, it said.
“Any person guilty in violation of aforesaid orders will be liable for legal action,” it added.
It called the decision a “violation of fundamental rights” with respect to the “ongoing censorship of online content as well as the alarming non-compliance with the Supreme Court’s rulings in Anuradha Bhasin v. Union of India and the interim order in S.G. Vombatkere v. Union of India.”
Recently, the apex court refused to urgently hear a petition challenging the “indefinite” internet shutdown in Manipur in the wake of ongoing violence.
“The [Manipur] high court is hearing the matter. What’s the need to duplicate proceedings? Mention before the regular bench,” it said.
The matter will now be heard on July 3.
On June 16, the high court directed the state government to allow restricted internet access in certain areas. The order was made public on June 20.
The high court said that internet access is necessary for “urgent and vital tasks,” particularly in the continuing student admissions process.