The Manipur High Court on Tuesday has directed the state government to facilitate limited internet services in some designated areas. The internet service in the northeastern state was banned since May 3, when the violence between the ethnic communities erupted.
The bench remarked that the internet is necessary for people of the state to carry out urgent and essential work, particularly in regards to the ongoing admission process of students. According to reports, the order was issued by Justices Ahanthem Bimol Singh & A Guneshwar Sharma while hearing a bunch of Public Interest Litigation seeking restoration of internet services in the crisis-hit state.
Internet ban in the state has been continuing for over a month in the view of violence that erupted after clashes between the Kukis and the Meities. The clash between both the communities broke out following a high court direction to consider granting Scheduled Tribe status to the Meities.
The High Court has also directed the telecom service provider to register affidavits deliberating on the feasibility of providing limited internet access to the public by blocking social media websites in an attempt to safeguard the state government’s concern for maintaining law and order.
According to reports, the bench had scheduled the next date of consideration for these cases on June 23. Meanwhile, the parties involved have been granted the liberty to exchange their affidavits as they see fit.
The ongoing violence has claimed the lives of nearly 100 people in the state. Clashes first broke out in Manipur on May 3 following a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’, which was organised in the hill district to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. As far as reports are concerned, Meiteis comprise about 53 per cent of the state’s population and they reside mostly in the Imphal valley. Tribals namely Nagas and Kukis constitute around 40 per cent of the population and they reside in the hill districts.
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