Imphal: Four days after the lifting of the internet ban in strife-torn Manipur, the state government on Tuesday once again suspended internet services for five days till October 1 following the massive students’ agitation on Tuesday in protest against the killing of two young students by unidentified assailants, officials said.
The Manipur government has also closed all schools in the state till September 29, officials said.
A notification issued by the state Education Department said that in view of the prevailing law and order situation, all government, aided and private schools across the state will remain closed till September 29.
At least 34 students, including girls, were injured after hundreds of students took to the streets in Imphal on Tuesday to protest against the killing of two young students by unidentified murderers.
The police said the students were injured after they clashed with the security forces, who prevented them from marching towards Chief Minister N. Biren Singh’s bungalow.
The security forces used tear gas shells and smoke bombs to disperse the agitating students. The injured students have been admitted to various hospitals for treatment.
Earlier, hundreds of students gathered on the streets on Tuesday after photographs of the bodies of two missing students went viral on social media.
Joint Secretary (Home) Mayengbam Veto Singh said in a notification that in view of the prevailing law and order situation in Manipur, the state government views very seriously with utmost sensitivity the reported spread of disinformation, rumours and other types of violent activities through various social media platform such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.
On electronic equipment like tablet, computer, mobile phone etc, along with sending of bulk SMS facilitating mobilisation of mobs of agitators and demonstrators, which may cause loss of life and/or damage to public/private property or aggravates the law and order situation in the state.
“The state government has decided to suspend/curb mobile internet data services, internet/data services through VPN in the territorial jurisdiction of the state of Manipur for five days with immediate effect till 7.45 p.m. of October 1,” it said.
The notification said that any person found guilty of violating the order will be liable for legal action.
On Saturday, Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh had announced the lifting of internet ban in the state.
Responding to the appeal from all sections of people and various organisations, the state government, following the Manipur High Court order, had partially lifted the ban earlier.
Internet services were banned immediately after ethnic violence broke out in the state on May 3, and were periodically extended considering the prevailing law and order situation.
Seven-teen-year-old girl student Hijam Linthoingambi and 20-year-old Phijam Hemjit had gone missing on July 6 during the height of ethnic violence in Manipur.
Their families suspected that they had been killed by armed assailants.
Both the deceased students hailed from Bishnupur district.