Manipur: Two houses torched in fresh violence; suspension of internet services extended

With a new round of violence, tensions are rising
Image Source: PTI Tension mounts in Imphal with fresh round of violence

Manipur, which has been witness to brutal ethnic conflict between two communities, has once again witnessed violent incidents worsening the law and order situation in the hill state in the northeastern region. In a fresh round of violence, two houses were torched by a mob in Imphal East district on Monday afternoon after two armed miscreants forced people to close their shops.

However, no casualties have been reported in the arson. The mob also thrashed one of the miscreants, while the other managed to escape. Both were taken into custody.

According to police, army and paramilitary personnel have been rushed to the spot and the situation is under control. Army personnel used force and fired teargas shells to disperse the crowd, causing minor injuries to some people.

After this, the state government has reduced the relaxation in curfew. Curfew has to be imposed from 6 am to 2 pm, which was earlier from 6 am to 4 pm. Following the latest violence, locals protested by burning tires on the road.

The state government issued a fresh notification extending the suspension of internet services in the state for another five days till May 26.

Internet ban hits normal life in Manipur

Thongbam Inaotomba’s son is likely to be thrown out of his residence in Delhi as he has not been able to send money to the young student as internet has been suspended in Manipur for the last 19 days.

Bimola Thunaojam, the mother of an 18-year-old boy, is trying to figure out how to get her son admitted to a college outside Manipur without going through the net-based admission process.

The net was shut down in the picturesque state following ethnic clashes three weeks ago to prevent the spread of rumors and misinformation that could result in retaliatory violence.

“My son has recently passed the CBSE Class 12 exam. We cannot find information regarding online form submission, cut-off marks and last date of application for colleges in major cities of the country outside Manipur,” 52-year-old Thounaojam said, Imphal.

He told PTI that the internet shutdown is threatening the academic career of many students.

“I am unable to send money online to my son; he studies in Delhi. He told me over the phone that his landlord has threatened to evict him if he does not pay the monthly rent,” said Inaotomba, 54 Businessman.

He added that business activities have been affected as stakeholders are not able to send emails or transfer payments.

Residents argue that instead of a blanket suspension of the internet, the government should have clamped down on the use of social networking sites because they are only used to spread misinformation, with some in the state said to have been involved in clashes involving more than 70 people. Deaths have occurred in the Meitei and Kuki communities since the violence began.

Anand Singh Huidrom, 41, who works from home here as an associate manager of a leading information technology company, said his office work has been put in jeopardy.

Hudrome said, “It is extremely unfair for a government to completely shut down the Internet. If the authorities felt that social networking sites could spread misinformation, they could have blocked those sites. Instead, they would Paralyzing the connection of

A Manipur High Court lawyer said authorities cannot take away the fundamental right to access information just because they are unable to investigate the handiwork of some miscreants.

“I am unable to share documents related to the important case with my colleagues and clients. It seems the authorities have forgotten that we are part of a democratic system that prides itself on Digital India,” said the lawyer who did not identify himself as Don’t want to

He said the High Court is also facing a tough time as it is unable to inform people properly about the dates and timings of cases, leading to chaos and confusion.

when it started

Clashes broke out in Manipur after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organized in the hill districts on May 3 to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. The violence was preceded by tension over the eviction of Kuki villagers from reserved forest land, which led to several smaller agitations. Meites constitute about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and mostly live in the Imphal Valley. The tribals – Naga and Kuki – constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts. The ethnic clashes claimed over 70 lives and nearly 10,000 army and para-military personnel had to be deployed to bring back normalcy in the northeastern state.

(With PTI inputs)

Also Read – ‘Situation Very Tense and Government Functioning Completely Paralysed’: Manipur Congress Chief Keesham Meghchandra

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