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Plea In SC Against Internet Ban In Manipur

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New Delhi, June 6 (PTI): Two Manipur residents have moved  the Supreme Court against the “mechanical and repeated” internet shutdown in the state rocked by ethnic violence that began a month ago.

The plea filed by Chongtham Victor Singh and Mayengbam James said the shutdown was “grossly disproportionate” in its interference with the constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression and the right to carry on any trade or business using the constitutionally protected medium of the internet.

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It said the measure has had a significant economic, humanitarian, social, and psychological impact on both the petitioners and their families.

The petition contended the residents of the state experienced feelings of “fear, anxiety, helplessness, and frustration” as a result of the shutdown, and have been unable to communicate with their loved ones or office colleagues.

“Continued suspension of the internet for the purpose of preventing rumour-mongering and the spread of misinformation does not pass the threshold prescribed by the Telecom Suspension Rules 2017,” the plea said.

The Manipur government on Tuesday extended the ban on internet services till June 10.

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The suspension of mobile data services, including broadband, has been extended till 3 pm of June 10, an order issued by Commissioner (Home) H Gyan Prakash said.

The ban was imposed on May 3.

Nearly 100 people have lost their lives and 310 others  injured in the ethnic violence in Manipur.

A total of 37,450 people are currently sheltered in 272 relief camps.

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Clashes first broke out in the northeastern state on May 3 after a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur’s population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley. Tribals Nagas and Kukis constitute another 40 per cent of the population and reside in the hill districts.

Around 10,000 Army and Assam Rifles personnel have been deployed in the state to restore peace.

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://www.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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