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ANSAM expresses concern over continuous internet ban in Manipur

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IMPHAL, Sept 7: The All Naga Students’ Association,
Manipur (ANSAM) has expressed its concern over the
continuous ban of internet services in Manipur.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the ANSAM said the
order of the state government suspending the internet
services was promulgated on May 3, 2023, due to the
ongoing ethnic violence between Kuki-Zo community
and Meitei community to curb the spread of rumours,
videos, photos and social media comments which may
further escalate the prevailing situation and deteriorate
the law and order situation in the state.
It has been more than 120 days since the internet was
shut down in the state partially lifting the order for
specific users in the state, it stated. Lifting the order only
for few broadband users and government offices for
administrative purposes with exorbitant rate does not
provide a solution to the necessities in times of urgency
and cannot be a justification to its proportionality of the
ongoing violence and prevailing situation, the Naga
student body also said.
According to the ANSAM, the delayed response and lack
of sincere intervention from the central government to
the prevailing situation in the state raises concerns about
its propriety and effectiveness of the internet shutdown
whether it is being used as a tool to suppress
information and control the narrative surrounding the
events happening in Manipur.

The Naga student body then said, “Considering the
adverse impacts due to the prolonged internet shutdown
on economic status in the state, disruption of
communication while accessing emergency services,
educational limitations and research hindering access to
online educational resources, impediment to heath care
services which plays a crucial role in healthy delivery
accessing medical information for the medical students,
the All Naga Students Association, Manipur(ANSAM)
raises our deep concern in the interests of the students
and Nagas who have been maintaining neutrality at this
crucial juncture after serious observation to the ongoing
situation in the state”.
It further said internet is not merely a communication
system but it is a chosen platform for research and
information among many others. Consequently, internet
shutdown in the state has serious implication for the
entire population which includes the peace loving Nagas
who have no role in causing apprehended danger or
nuisance in the ongoing violence, the ANSAM added.
“This, to some extent, causes widespread censorship and
violation of citizen fundamental rights given in the Indian
constitution,” the Naga student body further added.
The ANSAM then said that the student body, “with a
serious concern” to the ongoing situation in the state,
appealed to the state government to lift the order of
internet shutdown and restore internet connectivity in
the state by white-listing the accessible websites and

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allowing specific and verified social media websites/apps
and at specific geographical locations.
The ANSAM then “strongly” condemned the “cowardice
act” of two KRA cadres for assaulting Zuina Hotngambou,
a former chairman of Lenglong Naga village. He was
beaten severely by two KRA cadres for refusing to give Rs
300 while he was taking some bananas to Kangpokpi in a
pick-up truck along with his wife and son, the ANSAM
also said. “Such shameful act of KRA is a matter of
prestige for the organization and the question of its
integrity and ideology of their revolutionary movement,”
it added.
The ANSAM then said the Nagas have been maintaining
the position of neutrality in this ongoing “ethnic violence
while extending “our sincere” efforts to restore the
situation back to normalcy and “our position should not
be taken advantage by any other community as a
toothless lion”. It added, “We are observing the situation
with patience and we will not remain as mere spectators
if such unwanted and shameful act keeps on repeating to
the Nagas in the coming days,” it cautioned.
The ANSAM also said “with a serious concern to this
shameful and cowardice act of two KRA cadres towards
the innocent Naga citizen”, appealed to the concerned
leaders and authorities to take up befitting action against
the two KRA cadres and make sure that such acts are not
repeated. (NNN)

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur
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