In a significant move, the Manipur government has once again suspended mobile internet services in the state for a period of five days. This decision comes in the wake of fresh protests that erupted following the tragic murder of two students, images of whose bodies went viral on social media platforms.
Protests Erupt After Students’ Murder
The unrest in Manipur began after two students were brutally murdered by suspected armed individuals. The incident gained widespread attention and led to public outrage after images of the deceased students’ bodies started circulating on social media platforms. In response to the escalating tensions, scores of students took to the streets, marching towards Chief Minister N. Biren Singh’s residence, demanding justice for the victims.
Schools to Remain Closed
As a precautionary measure, all schools in the state will remain closed on September 27, 2023. This decision was taken in light of the ongoing protests and to ensure the safety of students and staff.
Government’s Stance on Internet Suspension
The administrative officials stated that the suspension of internet services is a measure to maintain law and order in the state. The move aims to prevent the spread of disinformation, false rumors, and any potential violent activities that could further escalate the situation. The official notification released by the government mentioned that mobile internet data services, including internet/data services through VPN, will remain suspended in the territorial jurisdiction of Manipur until 7:45 PM of October 10, 2023.
Background of the Incident
The images that sparked the protests show two students, a 20-year-old male and a 17-year-old female, in what appears to be a makeshift jungle camp of an armed group. Two armed men can be seen standing behind them. These students went missing during the peak of ethnic violence in July. Subsequent images showed the lifeless bodies of both students, with the male student’s head gruesomely missing. These photos were reportedly taken on July 8, two days after the students disappeared. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has taken charge of the case, and the state government has assured swift action against the perpetrators.
Ethnic Tensions in Manipur
Manipur has been grappling with widespread violence due to the high court’s decision to include the non-tribal Meitei community in the state’s list of Scheduled Tribes (ST). This decision ignited ethnic clashes, primarily between the Meitei and the tribal Kuki communities.
- Mobile Internet Suspension: Internet services suspended for five days in light of fresh protests following the murder of two students.
- Protests and Demands: Students marched towards the Chief Minister’s residence, demanding justice for the murdered victims.
- Schools Closure: All schools in Manipur to remain closed on September 27, 2023, due to the ongoing unrest.
- Government’s Response: CBI has taken charge of the investigation, with the state government promising swift action against those responsible.
In conclusion, the situation in Manipur remains tense as the state grapples with the aftermath of the tragic incident. The suspension of internet services is a testament to the gravity of the situation, and it remains to be seen how the state government will address the concerns of its citizens in the coming days.