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Rights

Internet Shutdown in Manipur Has Now Crossed 200 Days

Mobile internet has been completely or partially suspended in the state since May 3, after ethnic violence erupted in the northeastern state, between the Meitei and Kuki communities.

New Delhi: Manipur has experienced an internet shutdown for over 200 days, as reported by InternetShutdowns.in, an organisation that tracks incidents of internet shutdowns in the country.

Mobile internet has been completely or partially suspended in the state since May 3, after ethnic violence erupted in the northeastern state, between the Meitei and Kuki communities.

The internet was briefly restored for three days in September, only to be shut down again.

As per news reports, the internet ban had been extended till November 23, citing concerns about potential misuse of social media for spreading hate speech and inciting violence.

However, there is no official information on the restoration of internet services.

For five successive years, India has topped the global list of states that cut off the internet to their citizens.

An internet shutdown is an intentional disruption of internet or electronic communications to exert control over the flow of information.

While government across the world argue that they enforce internet shutdowns to curb misinformation during a state of crisis, The Wire had reported that this strategy works in an adversarial manner. This is because, as per the report, internet shutdowns enhance, if not encourage, the flow of misinformation.

Moreover, people belonging to the poor and marginalised communities bear the brunt of these shutdowns. Ironically, they are the ones the ‘Digital India’ project seeks to uplift.

Also read: India’s Trigger-Happy Internet Shutdowns Hurt Its Poor and Marginalised: Report

In addition, India has lost more money in six months of 2023 from internet suspensions than it did in the whole of 2022, Business Standard reported, citing data from the global tracker Top10VPN.

In 2023, India lost $ 255.2 million by June. It had lost $184.3 million in 2022.