20 July 2018:
The Manipur government has suspended internet and mobile SMS services across the state for five days from Thursday night in the wake of rumour-mongering and circulation of hate messages through the social media pertaining to the ongoing agitation by Manipur University students and faculty demanding the resignation of Vice Chancellor Adya Prasad Pandey.
In an order, the state’s home department warned that any person found guilty of violating the order would be liable for legal action.
“…The social media has become a handy tool for rumour mongers and is being used to incite general public which might have serious repercussions for the law and order situation in the entire state of Manipur. Whereas it is reported that some anti-social elements are using social media extensively for transmission of hate video message inciting the passions of the public. And whereas, there is an imminent danger of loss of life or damage to public property and widespread disturbances to public tranquillity and communal harmony, as a result of inflammatory materials and rumours which are being/could be transmitted/circulated to the public through social media/messaging services on mobile internet services, SMS services and dongle services,” the statement reads.
It said the government took the decision on suspending internet and SMS 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”.