Hours after Manipur’s chief minister N Biren Singh announced it in the morning, mobile internet connections that had been stopped since May 3 when ethnic violence first broke out in the state were resumed. People with knowledge of the situation claimed that mobile internet services had been operational again as of 3 pm.
“…the governor of Manipur is pleased to revoke all orders issued regarding the suspension of mobile data services…and hereby, orders the restoration of MMS over mobile service providers/mobile internet/data services in Manipur normally with effect from September 23, 2023,” the state’s home department mentioned in an order.
“The government had suspended mobile internet services on May 3 to check the spread of fake news, propaganda and hate speech. However, with the improvement of the situation, mobile internet services will be restored across the state from today,” CM told in interaction with the reporters in Imphal.
Since May 3, when ethnic conflict between the Meitei and Kuki groups in the northeastern state first erupted, at least 176 people have died and almost 50,000 have been displaced.
After violence broke out in several regions on May 3, the state administration banned mobile internet access, but a day later it was restored throughout the state. Even if restrictions on broadband internet were loosened on June 27, mobile data services were still not available.
When questioned about claims that mobile data services were operational on September 20 in some areas of Churachandpur, the conflict’s focal point, and the neighbouring Bishnupur district, the CM stated that two officers had been suspended in this respect.