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Monday, June 17, 2024

Govt bans circulation of riot videos, images that ‘worsen situation’ in Manipur

The Manipur government has prohibited the circulation of photos and videos of the riots in the state as they might aggravate the law and order situation further, officials said on Thursday.

Commissioner (Home) T Ranjit Singh in an order said that anyone found violating the government’s orders shall be booked and prosecuted under relevant provisions of the law, without any exception.

“….nobody shall be allowed to circulate/spread such videos/images/pictures through various social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, X etc. on electronic equipment like tablet, computer, mobile phone etc. and sending bulk SMS,” the order said.

The order said that in case, anybody was in possession of such videos/images/pictures, he/she may approach the nearest Superintendent of Police irrespective of jurisdiction and submit the same.

“Anyone misusing technology for inciting violence/hatred shall also be dealt with appropriately under relevant provisions of the Information Technology Act and the Indian Penal Code,” the order stated.

Apprehending violence, the state government on Wednesday extended the ban on mobile internet services in ethnic violence-devastated Manipur for another five days till October 16. Further extending the ban on mobile internet services, Singh said in his order, “There is apprehension that some anti-social elements might use social media extensively for transmission of images, hate speech and hate video messages inciting the passions of the public which might have serious repercussions for the law and order situation in the state of Manipur.”

Following massive students’ agitations, the Manipur government had on September 26, two days after the ban was lifted after 143 days, had suspended mobile internet data services for five days and then extended it for five day spells. The restive state witnessed massive students’ agitations in the last week of September to protest the killings of 17-year-old girl student Hijam Linthoingambi and 20-year-old Phijam Hemjit, who hailed from Bishnupur district and had gone missing on July 6 during the peak of ethnic violence.

The northeastern state witnessed massive ethnic violence between the Meitei and Kuki communities since May 3 resulting in the killing of over 180 people and injuring over a thousand people, besides displacing over 70,000 people from their homes. The ethnic violence had erupted after demands by Meiteis for tribe status.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)

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