Manipur suspends cell Internet service
Imphal: All forms of telecom services except voice calls were suspended for five days in Manipur with effect from Friday morning to prevent anti-national and anti-social messages on social media.
Ksh. Raghumani Singh, special secretary (home) Manipur, in an order issued in the name of the governor said the prohibition is imposed under Rule II of the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017.
Social media has become a handy tool for rumour-mongers. It has become necessary to take up this prohibition measure in order to maintain law and order in public interest by stopping spread of misinformation and rumours in social media, said the release.
It said all mobile service providers have been directed to ensure cooperation with the order.
However, broadband Internet services were not included in the ban. BSNL Manipur says its broadband connection is operational.
SMS services of all mobile phone connections have also been stopped since Friday morning.
The banning of telecom services has largely affected youths who operate service markets using internet connections.
"I don't have BSNL service. I have to stop my earning for five days. This is bad. Rumours can be spread on voice calls as well. It is like an attempt to take away our daily bread," said a boy who runs a service shop here.
"It is very wrong. It is like imposing emergency in the state. It affects our right of communication. Cutting off telecom services is not just prohibiting communication. Nowadays communication includes transaction as well. This ban affects the economy and development in the state. With the help of Internet we communicate not only within the state and nation, but globally as well," economist Amar Yumnam said.
"Banning internet services for administration is a sign of failure of governance," the professor said.
A retired teacher said it is not reasonable to put the information sector at rest when the government fails to appease people in different issues.
"It is disgusting that Internet services have been cut off when everyone relies it for information, news and learning material," said Singhajit Singh, a student of DM College, who lives in Imphal.
The state government should think over it, he said.