Manipur: Suspension of internet service for 18 days hits govt, banking and private sectors

Imphal: The suspension of mobile internet service in Manipur for the past 18 days has badly affected important banking, government and non-government services since May 3.

The Manipur government suspended mobile internet on May 3 after the state witnessed unprecedented violent clashes in more than 10 districts during and after the ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ called by the All Tribal Students’ Union of Manipur (ATSUM) to oppose the demand for inclusion of the Meitei community in the ST category.

Amid the shortage of essentials items, transport fuel and life-saving drugs, banking and ATM facilities have also been affected due to the internet suspension across the mountainous state, making life more miserable for the people.

Opposition Congress, the media and various other organisations have been demanding immediate restoration of internet service in Manipur.

Manipur Congress spokesperson Ningombam Bupenda Meitei said in a tweet on Saturday: “Dear Prime Minister Narendra Modi, kindly lift the internet ban in Manipur. Today is 20th May. Since 3rd May, there has been internet ban. I can’t read your tweets nor Amit Shah ji’s tweets in today’s Digital India. When will the PMO ensure internet for all in Manipur?”

Former Union minister and Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh had said in a tweet earlier that banking, e-commerce, payments of e-bills, e-tickets, businesses, work from home, education, and many other essential services have come to a grinding halt in Manipur.

“Meanwhile, not a single word was issued by the Prime Minister appealing for peace. Not a single visit by the Union Home Minister or any other Cabinet Minister to the state,” the Rajya Sabha member had said.

Meanwhile, an AICC team led by former central minister Mukul Wasnik visited Manipur for the past three days and studied the prevailing situation in the ethnic violence-hit state.

Before leaving for Delhi, Wasnik said on Saturday that no effort is seen from the government to restore normalcy in Manipur.

Demanding immediate efforts from the state and Central governments to restore peace and normalcy in Manipur, the Congress leader slammed the silence of the Prime Minister and the Home Minister in this critical situation when “Manipur is burning and its territorial integrity is at stake”.

“Not a single Union minister has visited the strife-torn state since the issue erupted on May 3. We have acknowledged the involvement of Kuki militants in the violence,” Wasnik said, adding that the visiting AICC team will submit a report on the Manipur situation to the Central leaders of Congress.

Former Central minister and Congress in-charge for Bihar, Mizoram and Manipur, Bhakta Charan Das, Manipur Congress President K. Meghachandra Singh and three-time former Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh accompanied the AICC team, which visited several trouble-torn districts.



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