IMPHAL- Mobile internet services, which were suspended as ethnic violence erupted in Manipur in early May, were restored after over four months from Saturday.
The services resumed hours after Chief Minister N Biren Singh made an announcement in this regard in the morning.
He also called for the cancellation of the free movement regime that allows people residing close to both sides of the India-Myanmar border to venture 16 km deep into each other’s territory without any document.
Addressing a press conference here, Singh said, “The government had suspended mobile internet services on May 3 to check the spread of fake news, propaganda and hate speech. However, with the improvement of the situation, mobile internet services will be restored across the state from today.” The services were restored from around 3 pm, an official said.
The chief minister said the government will continue to deal with the influx of ‘illegal immigrants’ and stressed the need for complete fencing of the India-Myanmar border.
An official notification said that Manipur government revokes “all orders issued regarding suspension of mobile internet services under Rule 2 of Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017” in the state.
Meanwhile, fresh clashes were reported from the strife-torn state between security forces and protesters in specific areas of Imphal West on Friday (September 22) night.
According to PTI, the violence was sparked by the re-arrest of one of the five defence volunteers who had been released on bail earlier in the day by an Imphal special court. Officials said there has been no official confirmation of the re-arrested youth’s status.
While four of the arrested youth were released on bail and returned to their families, Moirangthem Anand, a former member of the banned People’s Liberation Army, was among those re-arrested.
Anand’s wife, visibly upset in front of the Imphal police station, stated, “I have been told by the police that my husband has been arrested in connection with a previous case that is more than a decade old,” as reported by PTI.