Imphal: Manipur government has banned mobile internet services for five days from Sunday to stop spread of rumour and false news.
H. Gyan Prakash , Special Secretary (Home), said in an order issued on Saturday that the Director General of Police, Manipur has informed about violence in the state which may become volatile if the situation was not brought under control.
All Tribal Students Union Manipur (ATSUM) imposed an economic blockade in the state and a series of violent incidents including burning of three vehicles, attack on offices took place on Saturday. The ATSUM demanded introduction of the Autonomous District Council Bill in the Manipur Assembly and two Bills were presented and one Bill was passed. Police also arrested five members of ATSUM for imposing blockade.
Prakash said, “crime has created tense communal situations and volatile law and order situations in the state. Some anti-social elements are using social media extensively for transmission of images, hate speech and hate video messages inciting the passions of the public. The social media has also become a handy tool for rumour mongers and is being used to incite the general public which might have serious repercussions for the law and order situation in the State.”
He added, “there is an imminent danger of loss of life and/or damage to public/private property, and wide spread disturbances to public tranquillity and communal harmony, as a result of inflammatory material and false rumours, which are being/could be transmitted/circulated to the public through social media/ messaging services on mobile services, SMS services and dongle services.”
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 disinformation and false rumours, through various social media platform such as Whatsapp, Facebook etc. on mobile phone and SMS, for facilitating and/or mobilization of mobs of agitators and demonstrators, which can cause loss of life and/or damage to public/private property by indulging in arson/vandalism and other types of violent activities, he added.
For maintenance of public order the government ordered suspension/curbing of mobile data services in Manipur.