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Manipur restores internet after nearly 5 months, free movement agreement with Myanmar suspended

The state government also announced the suspension of the Free Movement Regime (FMR) with Myanmar which allows people on either side to travel up to 16 km inside other territory

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Imphal: The Manipur government Saturday announced restoration of mobile internet services which have been snapped since May 3 evening after a large-scale violence broke out between two communities in the state. The ban, first imposed for a duration of five days, citing the law and order problem, had been extended since then. 

The government reasoned the improvement of the law and order situation and lessening of violence incidents over the last few weeks for the restoration of internet services. 

“Now, therefore, the Governor of Manipur is pleased to revoke all orders issued regarding suspension of mobile data services under rules No. 2 of Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public emergency or Public safety) Rules, 2017 and hereby orders the restoration of MMS over Mobile service providers/mobile internet/data services in the territorial jurisdiction of State of Manipur normally with effect from 23rd September 2023,” a statement issued by T Ranjit Singh, Commissioner (Home), Government of Manipur said.

The state government also announced the suspension of the Free Movement Regime (FMR) with Myanmar which allows people on either side to travel up to 16 km inside other other territory and the Central government has been requested to permanently close the agreement in the state.

Meanwhile, chief minister N Biren Singh lauded all sections including media, government machineries, MLAs, and ministers for their support and cooperation in restoring law and order situation in the state and added that there has been a pause in gunfights and other violent incidents over the past one month. 

Briefing media persons here, Biren Singh stated that his government has resolved to continue the functioning of the cabinet sub-committee which was formed with Minister Letpao Haokip as the chairmen to check and identify illegal immigrants coming from outside, with an objective to protect and safeguard the future generation of the indigenous people.

As biometric recording is necessary as preliminary to the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the State government has urged the Centre to extend the time for Biometric process by a year in the State, he said adding that it is the first priority.

Further explaining the importance of border fencing to check influx of illegal immigrants, the Chief Minister said work for fencing along the international boundary by identifying some vulnerable stretches have been awarded to the Border Road Organisation.

Rehabilitation and resettling of displaced persons at their original place is another priority the Chief Minister said, adding that around 700 displaced families in Torbung, some in Sugunu have been resettled in their original localities.

The government has to work for the rehabilitation, resettling of displaced persons, construction of prefabricated houses, deployment of security forces in vulnerable areas, but if there is unrest and turmoil in Imphal, how is the government supposed to take up all these works, the Chief Minister asked.

It is the police and the security forces that are guarding the State, the Chief Minister continued.

N. Biren Singh further said that the pause in gun fights witnessed over the past one or so month is because of proper deployment of security forces in vulnerable areas.

Security forces have also started entering Churachandpur on top of those already there with the support and cooperation of the people of the town, he said, adding that 25 persons have been arrested so far by the police in the district. Altogether 7 cases have been charge-sheeted.

Another serious issue is the disappearance of youth below 30 years from the society, the Chief Minister said highlighting the report of “Magnitude of Substance use in India 2019” published by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India.

Stating that the finding highlighted in the report regarding prevalence of alcohol use, ganja use, opioids and others in the State is quite alarming and concerning, N. Biren Singh expressed the need to strengthen the War on Drugs campaign in the State.

The Chief Minister said a joint committee of the Narcotics Control Bureau and Narcotics and Affairs of Border (NAB) has been formed to survey and destroy poppy plantations.

The Chief Minister said during the past two three months, certain splinter groups who donned police uniforms and are armed have created an unrest in the society with a series of unwanted incidents like kidnapping, shooting of persons, etc.

The Chief Minister highlighted a few incidents including kidnapping of an engineer from Tingri by unknown armed persons in combat dress, kidnapping of a Kom individual, placing of grenade in at residence for extortion, among others.

The Chief Minister further lamented distrust and disrespect shown to the government by a section of the society and said that it is the government with the support of the public that is facing all the issues in the State. He sought trust in the government and said that the government stands firmly with the commitment against the breaking of Manipur.

Further speaking against the spread of fake news which helps create unrest in the State, he said we should be clear on who we are fighting against instead of turning against each other.

We should be very clear that we are fighting against forces which are trying to disintegrate and break Manipur, he said lamenting that certain organizations formed in localities seem to be dictating unrest.

Steps are being taken up to ensure that there is rule of law in all districts of the State with cooperation of the people, he said.

The Chief Minister further said that Airtel’s alleged leakage of internet service in Churachandpur has been found to be true and two employees have been subsequently suspended.

N. Biren Singh concluded with an appeal for all to join hands and stand unitedly including all indigenous communities including the indigenous Kukis brothers and sisters to rebuild the old peaceful Manipur and resettling the displaced families.

The press briefing was also attended by Minister Govindas Konthoujam, Thounaojam Basantakumar Singh, MLA Khumukcham Joykisan Singh, Chief Secretary Dr. Vineet Joshi.

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